The Writing Jungle
Create an interesting character and give her a great goal. Write what you want to read. Create a sense of wonder. The more conflict, the better. Write with intention. Sit at the typewriter and bleed (Ernest Hemmingway). Don’t write to get published. Focus on characters’ struggles for objects of desire. Don’t worry about being a good writer, just write. Grab the reader. Unfold your story organically. Be captivating. Or memorable. Write originally. Create authenticity. Create an emotional connection. Keep the reader turning pages. Be unpredictable. Keep the reader curious. Writing serves the reader, not the writer. You can find a hundred more writing tips like this on the Internet. Which one to prioritize? Which one to apply when? Which one to ignore when? Learning how to write feels like getting to know a jungle. We can only see a few meters into the tangled thicket that teems with cunning predators, yucky leeches, poisonous plants, and sucky swamps. In short, we can’t see the art for tools.
That’s where Eight Crafts comes in. It gives you a structured drone view.
Drone view = overview. Structured overview = map.
What are Stories?
Life is all about experiencing, one could even make the point that experiencing is life’s purpose.
Our lives are strings of pleasant and challenging experiences, so-called good and bad times. Pleasant experiences, like a nice dinner or a happy vacation, are anecdotes. Only challenging experiences are stories.
No challenge, no story.
Challenges can be exciting, for example, climbing a mountain. But most challenges have an adverse ring to them, for example, a stone in a shoe. Or a storm. Climbing out of a hole is challenging too, for example, recovering from an accident or the loss of a loved one.
Challenging experiences are adventures. Both adventure and adversity start with adv.
Fictional stories are never as realistic as real-life experiences. Writers make up for that by dramatizing and exaggerating stories. This leads to the basic definition of story:
Stories are dramatized virtual adventures.
That busts the myth that stories are about change. Stories need to emulate change in order to feel real (life always changes), but stories are really about adventures, i. e. inspiring struggles with adversity.
Adventures have to do with advancement too. Life bombards living beings with challenges, kinda forcing them to learn all the time. Adversity and advancement are inseparable and therefore indispensable ingredients of stories. Who advances and struggles with adversity? The protagonist.