Writing and Shit – part 18 – Breaking your statues into two pieces

ALL BY YOURSELF One of the biggest faults in stories by less experienced writers is that they are about extremely isolated people – people who start off by being isolated and don’t end up making much contact with others. This is not, in itself, a bad idea. There have been many wonderful stories about people […]

Writing and Shit – part 16 – Making your characters more sympathetic even if they are baddies

SYMPATHETIC CHARACTERS The following bit is really only for you if you want to write popular fiction – although, if you are aiming for something that sells less well you might be interested in discovering something about the dark arts. I will have to flip over to discussing characters, because the phrase everyone uses is […]

Writing and Shit – part 13 – Exactly how not to begin your short story

Most of the examples I have given so far have been quite straightforward, unsubtle. The idea of the runaway bride, although something you might be happy to gossip about, may be the kind of on-the-surface, twisty story that you would never allow yourself to write. But I think that the idea of Story-Time, and of […]

Writing and Shit – part 12 – The Epic Flipchart of Will It? Won’t it?

I’d like to move on from my two definitions of a story, but do keep your marked up story-start because we’ll be going back to it. I have tried very hard to find another way to talk about this next bit that avoids the phrase ‘Story-Time’. It has associations – not bad associations – of […]

Writing and Shit – part 11 – Make it wronger

I am now going to give you a second definition of a story that, I hope, will from now on, forever after, make it easier for you to write stories that don’t just start but that go on through exciting, intensifying middles and reach satisfying, unpredictable ends. The second definition doesn’t undermine or contradict the […]

Writing and Shit – Part 9 – Never do only one thing at a time

Welcome back. You have now – from inside you somewhere – dug out the three elements of a story. It should be one that you wouldn’t have considered writing, before starting this guide. Why? Because with each exercise, in each case, I have nudged you toward doing more than one thing at once. NEVER DO […]