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The Secret Sauce of Story Writing

Advice from some of the greats of writing

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22 Apr '24
2 min read


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Stories have existed since the dawn of time. Before the written word was invented, early man used pictograms and drew stories on the walls of caves with whatever tints and colours they could find. So innately, the desire to tell stories has always been prevalent in us. 

We might not all be Shakespeare, Chekhov, Dickens and Tolstoy, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from the greats. Something that all these writers have shared is their love for reading. You cannot know what will cater to an audience that loves reading unless you yourself have been a part of that audience.

In the famous words of two renowned authors:

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut." ~ Stephen King

"Read, read, read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window." ~ William Faulkner

If you wish to be a great writer, you must devour books as a reader. Read all sorts of books - the good, the average and the bad (and analyse what makes them so). Reading introduces us to many new perspectives and teaches us many new things. So why will it not also be able to teach us how to become a writer similar to the ones we so admire?

And the most important thing of all, perhaps, is to remember: Once you learn what is good and what style of writing works for you, put that to good use by practising writing. It doesn't matter if you're not good when you start. You're not going to get any better if you don't continue to practice writing.

So put that pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard, and start writing. The only way to be a good writer is to read literature and then write your own. 

It makes no difference if it's not good at first. No one need see it but you. 

When you look back just a few weeks later, you will see the difference, the polish in your writing. 

With that, I will leave you to it.

Happy Writing!



 

Category : Stories


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Written by Almas Baqri

Avid reader and writer