There is one similarity between perfect stories and perfect people. Both don’t exist.
Writing is one of the greatest forms of art known to mankind. When you write a story, you got to take care of another world altogether. You need to create people and give them a life each. You got to give them a past, a present and a future. And you have to give them their own set of imperfections and strengths to make them believable; and to give the readers space to relate themselves with your characters. You got to make sure that the life each one of your characters gets is a mixture of good and bad happenings. You got to give your characters troubles, sufferings and misfortunes. You got to give them something to hope for. You got to make them cry; make them fight. And also make them emerge stronger from their timidity. To sum it up, while writing a story, you got to play God.
And playing God is never easy. Never.
In the process of story writing, one thing you must ensure is to abandon your internal critic. When you are penning down your first draft, everything under the sky serves as a distraction to you. You begin to rephrase, analyse and then analyse again every line you have written. The font style and size attract you more than ever, and you become a terrible stickler to meddling with these options. You become extremely over focused on the quality and appearance of your story, more than the quantity.
Of course, quality holds more importance than quantity, right?
Not the first time. During your first draft, all you got to concentrate upon is the numbers, and how fast these numbers come. Forget about the language or the choice of words you use. Forget about the usage of metaphors or other figures of speech; brush aside the idea of polishing your language to the pinnacles of literary perfection. Just write down the story that you have in your mind; that flows down from your heart. Just forget the world around and go with the flow. Just do it. Get the words on the paper, as many of them as possible, and as fast as possible.
Yes, you will end up with loads of crap. That’s guaranteed. The very thought of people reading your story might embarrass you. The entire amount of work you had done might just seem like a never-ending pile of garbage. But hold on. That is where you will find gold. (Even that is guaranteed)
Writing is nothing but creating loads and loads of garbage and then editing it to create a masterpiece.
Once you are done with your first draft, it is time for some relaxation. Just keep your story away for a while; till you have completely vacated the ‘story writing’ zone. Only when you look at your story with a reader’s eyes, will you able to figure out the inconsistencies and the boring parts in it.
Come back with a reader’s mind to get started with the edit. Rewriting is a tricky thing. How much ever you rewrite your story, you will never get satisfied.
If you edit your story a hundred times, there are chances that you will still find irregularities the next time you try to edit it. Editing is a never-ending process, which can never give you complete satisfaction, and hence, can never give out a perfect story. The story of yours which you find perfect today will appear imperfect a few days later, thereby arousing your inner critics to edit the entire thing once more.
Do the editing continuously. Don’t take long breaks. Edit the entire thing at a stretch. And once you are done with it, give a read one final time. Make sure you have figured out the glitches in your story and have fixed them.
The underlying method to become a master in the art of writing is to write. And to write daily. There are no shortcuts. Don’t expect a Shakespearean mastery of the art if you haven’t written even for 10,000 hours.
They say it takes ten thousand hours to master any craft. How many hours have you written?
Good writers write. It doesn’t matter if they are tired. It doesn’t matter if they are going through a divorce. It doesn’t matter if their kids are screaming. It doesn’t matter if they’re sick and dying in the hospital. It doesn’t matter if terrorists drop a nuclear bomb on their hometown. They write. End of story. – John Morrow, Blogger.