A prose pro

Sorry people, I just thought that the above title was cool. I won't be blogging about prose per say, but feel free to stick around none the less.

I was asked recently where I get my ideas from. Good question. Probably one of the most common questions asked of authors or aspiring writers. Because, really, that's what separates good stories from great; a hundred books sold from a hundred thousand books sold. And here is the textbook answer. Here is the
cliché answer of all clichés, but it's so true: Write-what-you-know. We've all heard it before, I realize, but they say it for a reason.

Of course a fully functioning imagination and a somewhat healthy grasp of the English language (hey, prose) will also contribute to some nice stories. In every story that I have waiting to be written or am in the middle of writing, there are characters that are based on people, relatives, acquaintances that I've met throughout my life. Some spitting images, others, mere glimpses, but it sure makes it easier to write a captivating character when you know them inside out.

So if you're out of ideas, or stuck in a rut, or frustrated, just open up your personal phone book or old yearbooks or photo albums, and get inspired.

Next week, making sense of cents . . . .



Just Do It! (Sorry Nike)

This is a blog rant to. . . myself. . . .

Now stop over-researching and over-compiling and over-thinking, and get on with the revision already!! You know what needs to be done. There's no reason to be scared of anything. How can you be worried when you haven't even written a full book yet. Cart before the horse, man!

(This next part deals in profanity a tad) So get off your ass and get going! Stop being a chicken s*** and JUST DO IT!

So there.


What are you trying to say?

As we aspiring writers struggle on to get our stories out to the masses, what's our point? Do we even need points to our stories? Why are we even writing in the first place? All good questions with not so clear answers, so I'll give it a go.

This will be a short but sweet summary of why I have fallen in love with writing and why I keep striving to reach my personal goals. I have two main motivating factors for my continuous writing.

#1: This is a purely selfish reason. It's my version of hanging on to my ever fleeting youth. I guess it's my early midlife crisis. I know I'll never be able to buy that totally over the top sports car when I'm 50, so I might as well stay young in my stories. It's fun, and I love living vicariously through the characters.

#2: Simply to entertain the readers. I'm not here to educate, or to influence, or to brainwash, or to teach. Not that my stories don't have any meaning to them, they certainly do. There should always be some sort of underlying main theme that runs throughout the body of the plot of course, but not every writer is meant or called to preach or teach. That's what educational or inspirational books and authors are meant for. I just want the readers to enjoy the ride and take in whatever they want from them.

I find that my personal beliefs and/ or religious convictions are better served being taught and passed on to the people that matter the most to me: my family and children. I can have a much more profound and positive effect doing that, as apposed to seemingly force feeding it to the public and having the chance that my message gets misconstrued. No thank you.

I have found that in most of my story ideas lies the common theme of friendship, and self confidence, and self esteem, and self worth. All great moral fibers I think! We could all use increased doses of each.


5 Steps For Writing Good Stories

Welcome back folks. I've rectified my technical difficulties and am ready to get on with my blog. Good to have you back!

I'm going to list for you the 5 crucial aspects for writing a novel or story or whatever, that I've found to be invaluable in helping me put pen to paper. These are listed in no particular order, but all share an equal percentage of importance within the bigger picture.

#1: PLOT

Sorry people, I know it sounds
cliché, but you've gotta have one; a good one. This is basically translated to a "good story". You may be the best, most gifted writer in the world, with the deepest vocabulary and perfect spelling and grammar, but if your story bites, there's not much you can do about it. On the other hand, someone with weaker language arts skills, but has a great story and knows how to tell it, well there isn't anything that they can't do with a little help (editor) and persistence.

#2: Characters

Perhaps even more crucial to a successful story, is a strong protagonist. In the end, I suppose that all of the supporting characters also should be fairly engrossing, but your main guy or gal needs to be really memorable. They are what drives the plot. You want the readers to root for and sympathize with and relate to and be concerned for the protagonist. A weak and forgettable hero makes for a weak and forgettable story.


This doesn't solely mean fists fights and being tied up in the middle of a railroad track or trying to defuse a bomb. This can be any type of situation where the hero needs to resolve or figure something out. Every chapter should have some sort of conflict eventually leading up to the main climax of the story. It's important to put the hero into situations where the reader needs to know what is going to happen next. From an argument, to saving the world from certain annihilation, to losing a wallet, to trying desperately to flatten the tuft of hair that just won't behave. These are all good and all necessary in developing plot and character.

#4: Setting/ Environment

You want the reader to really believe that your fictitious locale might actually exist. It might even be set in an actual place. Make the reader feel like they're there. But it can't be too over that top. It needs to be believable. It needs to play within the boundaries of the story. Rich, detailed descriptions come into play here. Remember to keep it relevant and to the point. Even an ordinary, everyday street corner can be made into an eventful milieu.

#5: Writing Tense

Here's one I bet you didn't think of. This can be very important to writing a clear, flowing story. I found this out the hard way while writing my current story. I just couldn't get the ideas out right. Everything seemed to be forced and too deliberate. I soon found out that my story should be told from the first person perspective, giving it a more personal feel. I found that I was much more relaxed while writing in the first person to begin with, so I stuck with it.

The type of story you come up with will help push you in the right direction regarding what tense to write in. Some stories are better told from the more personal first person perspective, while others are better told from the more detailed and omnipresent third person perspective. What you ultimately need to remember is to write in the tense that makes you feel the most comfortable. If it just feels right, then stick with it. Only you can answer that feeling, so don't have anyone tell you which way you should write. Remember, there is no set-in-stone template for writing a good story after all, just mine perhaps.

Until we blog again....