What I Love About Storytelling

“Writing is so hard!”

“I wish someone would write for me.”

“I can’t get this scene to work.”

Boy. Writers sure complain a lot. I’m certainly not exempt from that. Writing is hard. It can be emotionally draining and stressful, especially when the creative juices aren’t following. There’s a lot of self-doubt, a lot of investment and, often, very little pay-off.

But it’s also one of the best things ever.

Writing should energize you, not exhaust you.

The other day I finished up a chapter of fanfic (don’t judge me) that left me with enough energy to run a marathon!

I’m not even exaggerating.

It was one of those scenes were two characters get into an alteration, one character confronts the other about their secret feelings, while the other makes some unpleasant accusations. You know, the juicy stuff. The scene built to a crescendo. Because it was something of a thriller story, where the characters’ lives are in danger, their confrontation is cut short by a brutal attack. Boom. Cliffhanger. Wrap. End of chapter.

I jumped out of my chair, left my room, and paced up and down the hallway in sheer excitement at what I’d written, all the while I acted out the possibilities of what could happen next. Thirty minutes later, I was still going. Then I realised all the good material I’d just come up with in that time and rushed back to my laptop to write it all down.

Each successful scene propels you to the next

Think on that. Each successful scene propels you to the next.

Sounds like run-of-the-mill writing advice to me, like it’s something I should be doing for my reader and not something I do for myself.

That’s completely backwards though, right? Because if I’m not desperate to keep working through the story, then how do I expect anyone else to be? That’s something else I hear a lot too. That you need to be invested to see the story through to the end.

Your story doesn’t have to have a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter or have characters screaming at each other at the top of their lungs (if it did, it’ll get old fast). It could be a scene were the characters confess their love for the first time. Or they make a life-changing discovery. My point is, if you’re not jumping out of your chair when you’re writing, you are doing it wrong!

I don’t get these energetic busts all the time, but when I do it reminds me, no matter how often I feel like I’m not good enough, or that I should quit, I am a storyteller at heart. Nothing will change that.


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