Can you write? Learn storytelling techniques
Can you write? For this it is essential to discover your voice. Does it lie in ironically showing the reality around you, like Helen Fielding? In accompanying readers to a new world, like JK Rowling? Or could it be that it provokes a reaction in those who feel identified with your words, like Eloy Moreno?
You see, when we talk to you about the voice we are referring to that "something" that only you have. It consists of the factor why readers will fall in love with your writing. There are people who write their novels with a psychological depth that dazzles ordinary philosophers. There are also those who deal with serious topics, but with such a particular vision or with such hilarious overtones that they make reading enjoyable.
The rest of the narrative aspects (construction of characters, cohesion of the facts, creation of dialogues, etc.) can (and should) be learned with outside help. However, your voice is a particular element, which it is essential that you discover for yourself. In this way, you can evolve and embark on the path to the writer you want to become.
Look for your inspiration
The most important thing for self-discovery is recognizing the creative procedures that help you bring out the story you want to tell.
There are authors who have a huge passion for writing. But they do not have a character or story that rounds their heads and begs to be revealed. Consequently, your writing is more sought after and planned. It is often convenient for them to have a little help to come up with their creations. So, if you are one of them, consider the following exercises:
- Count on the timer for five minutes, and in that time try to get as many ideas as possible, no matter how crazy they may seem. Since you have had to think quickly about the various alternatives, they will come from the subconscious. So now you just have to build the story.
- Go out on the street and get involved in other people's conversations. Stay a while listening to two interlocutors. Then try to imagine their relationship and put it on paper.
- Open the dictionary to a random page and, without looking at it, point your finger at any word. And now use it as a basis to create your story, narrating the first intrigue that comes to mind.
- Choose a book that you love, extract any paragraph from it and reconstruct the story from it. This way, you can also compare yourself to the writers you admire to find out if you share a similar voice. This is how you will discover your influencers.
Finally, it is always a good option to start by writing short stories. In this way you can try different genres and techniques and discover what you feel most comfortable with.
Identify your influencers
Many great writers are preceded by an enormous passion for reading. There are some who, precisely, have discovered their passion for the trade like that. After years of dreaming of being able to tell a story like that of your favorite authors. And even if this is not your case, you should know that the first writing course that you should follow is precisely that of reading. Without it no other will do.
Thus, the exercise that we propose in this case is to create two different lists. In one of them, write down your five favorite writers. At the same time write the two novels of theirs that you like the most. Then reflect and point out the reasons why they are the ones you love the most. Both regarding the author's method of narration, as well as the stories themselves.
Now, in the following list, indicate the five narrators that inspire you the most. The ones you think about: I would like to be able to write like them (once again, write down the reasons). In this case, the point is not to imitate them. Everyone has their own style and this exercise is about finding yours. But, in this way, you will be able to reveal who will be your influencers in the learning process.
For good storytelling, create a creative environment
It may seem irrelevant, but the place and situation you find yourself in will definitely influence the type of storytelling you develop. The lighting, the interventions of third parties, everything you see around you. And if you have music on, even if this is a soft jazz song, or instrumental with strong rhythmic changes, it will determine the turn your story takes.
Therefore, first think about what you want to write. Then make sure that your environment favors the flow of ideas on that topic. Some of the systems that you could follow are the following:
- In the first sessions, make sure you are alone in the room and that it is as clear and orderly as possible. On the desk, only a few blank sheets should remain (or a notebook or notepad) that remind you of all the possibilities that are within reach of your mind. Also leave a highlighter, a pen and a pencil. There are no bad ideas, since you can learn from all of them, thus avoiding erasers. You may also need to recharge with a hot drink or a snack to eat, but keep dirty dishes from getting on the table.
Also, to facilitate a good storytelling session, make the environment help you. If you like candles and incense, don't be shy. You can also be encouraged to play music (at low volume) of the same type as the story you want to create. And, above all, make sure that the lighting is sufficient, but not excessive.
Now, when you need to go out to document yourself, simply consider whether you prefer to go to the library to find other stories, or go to the street and soak up other people's experiences.