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Writing Advice

God knows, I am not a professional writer. Not yet, anyway. I’ve been writing and rewriting the same novel for five years now and I’ve only had a couple dozen works published.

But I’d like to think I have some tricks up my sleeve and today I wanted to share those tricks with you, No One, if you need any help.

Well, if you’re starting a completely new story, you have to think about what style you want it to be. I personally think style and form are two of the most important parts. So do you want it to be a narrative? Maybe diary entries? First person? Third person omnipotent? Third person commentator? Third person limited? Short sentences? Lengthy borderline run on sentences? Dialogue driven? Detail oriented? Iambic pentameter? Villanelle? Sestina? Sonnet? Free form? How do you want your reader to see your story?

(If you do not know what one of the words I used above was, please look it up.)

Next, develop your protagonist. But not in the story, not yet. Develop them in some notes. Either hand scrawled on a Post It Note or like me in a binder with pages upon pages of detailed explanation. Now develop your antagonist or antagonizing force. Do the same thing as you did before.

Next, I usually develop the scene in the story. Usually, this is the first bit I actually write down and use and it’s also my favorite part. A scene tells us everything about the mood and how we should feel, so do a good job of detailing it. Don’t be lengthy, and only show me certain things that are vital to the story and the setting.

Now you can probably start your story! Try to use dialogue when you have two characters together. Show me, don’t tell me what they’re thinking.

Don’t forget to have a message that you want your story to present. You can be as simple as “good always trumps evil” (see Harry Potter) or “Dad, don’t die on me. I love you and you need to push through this” (see “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”).

Be creative! You don’t have to follow my outline if you don’t want to. This is just my personal process and how I push through any potential writers’ block.

Also if you’re stuck somewhere in your novel or a big piece like that, reread the last bit that you wrote and then add a thousand words. I don’t care if it is absolute shit. Write a thousand words and edit it in the morning.

I believe in you, No One. Go do something bad ass and write.

-Hope xoxo

Han Solo