Ah, the wonderful world of fiction. We all love a good novel or thrilling movie, and some of us among the ranks of TPS have a gift for writing fiction. Fiction is a powerful tool, and seeing people with a gift for it and a desire to use it encourages me.
We’ve got to remember that fiction is art, and in order to become good at art, you need to work hard. As a writer, you need to write often, and you need to learn how to write well from others. That’s what I want to help you with. Maybe not the write often part–I can’t exactly stand with a gun behind you and threaten you to write every day. But with this column, I hope to give you writers practical advice on writing creatively. Specifically, I will be taking practical examples straight from the great (and not-so-great) storytellers of literature and film, dissecting them, and discovering what skills we writers can use to tell great stories ourselves.
It’s what I started last year, and it’s what I hope to continue this year. This new school year brings a bigger vision along with it, and with that comes a wider range of topics I will cover. Hopefully, there will be something for each of you writers to learn from and apply to your own writing.
But what if you’re not a writer? Will you find this column useful? Good question. See, studying stories doesn’t have to be an exclusive activity reserved for writers. In the same way we study science even though we’re not planning to be scientists, we can study the technicalities of storytelling in order to be more discerning readers. Readers and film fans can lack critical thinking when discussing a story; their assessments can be limited to only “I like it” or “I hated it” without explaining why. Knowing how good stories work and what makes bad stories can help you, as a reader or movie-goer, to think intelligently about what you read or watch.
So whether you’re a wizard or a writer, the road goes ever on and on, so let’s boldly go where no man has gone before and have fun storming the castle. Or storytelling. Whichever you prefer. We have a Hulk, after all.