A Little Perspective From Tom Church

Hey, everybody. Erin’s on a trip up to the mid-east US, so you guys are stuck with me as your guide. And we’re gonna have a lot of fun, aren’t we, jerks?

Just kidding, you guys are spectacular followers and interesting, kind people. Which is why I’ve decided to write about what I’m writing about.

Writing.

Writing a story is difficult, and the reason I’m addressing it in such a direct manner (this time) is because people need a little guidance. Looking online, you really have to dig deep to find any sort of real help with development and idea conception and all that.

So really, we’re going to go through the basics of getting a story slapped on Word, for you guys. I guarantee this’ll help, if you stick to the plan. I’m quite a ways into a (novel!) I’m writing right now, and while it’s not anywhere near finished, it’s coming along great.

So, without further adieu:

Step 1: Have a unique idea.

This might prove difficult in some cases, for even I struggle to come up with things that I know aren’t heavily influenced by what I watch and read all the time. You know? Think about it, try thinking up a cool, random idea, right now. I’ll do it too.

A monster…

  • attacks a city (Godzilla)
  • traps people somewhere (Dracula; Cujo)
  • infects a whole bunch of dudes (every zombie book/flick ever made)
  • befriends some (Beauty and the Beast; Twilight)
  • haunts people (Amityville Horror; Paranormal Activity; Poltergeist- just to name a few)

So you can see that the choices are limited for monsters, and, presumably, for all other choices of topic. Writing about a unique experience (a memoir-type piece) can sometimes be your best bet, if you make it interesting and meaningful enough.

But the point is, think up something in your head, and if you find it original, expand on it, and if you like it, expand on it even more. Chances are, you’ll be able to write all about it, and find that what you write is new, interesting, and even fun.

Step 2: The Expansion.

This part may be the most difficult part of all, for some. The problem is, none of us know where to begin. None of us know where to begin because secretly, we’re writing to please. Pleasing ourselves or pleasing others; the difference is rather trivial. The point is, you want to be able to read this back to yourself and be proud.

Develop logically and, before all else, in an organized way. Take notes on your characters. Not just mental ones, physical ones. Write down the dates that a certain thing happened, and write down the dates certain parts of your book occurred. And write in a way that makes sense to who’s reading.

In terms of sentence and paragraph structures, and grammar, you’re going to have to learn those for yourself. Being a writer means knowing those things before you begin, and it takes a lot of practice. But English classes help, of course, and there are a lot of authors who’ve written entire books dedicated to the proper usage of the English language, and they’re incredibly beneficial.

Step 3: Have fun. If you’re not, you’re doing it wrong.

This part kind of speaks for itself. But if you don’t like what you write, how you write, or writing itself, then what you’re doing is not meant for you. Drop the story, the idea, et cetera. Think of something new, and if nothing satisfies, maybe seek out another hobby.

But don’t confuse not having fun with finding the task too difficult. You can only get better as you progress. Go read Stephen King’s first novel (Carrie), and then one of his more recent ones. We all progress, it’s so obvious.

Have fun, everybody. Try your best, if you attempt.

-Tom
Aestheism, not atheism.

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