The True Story

Considering what I wrote in my last post, you might find it strange that I think plot is the hardest part of writing. Not because I cannot come up with anything but because I tend to get ahead of myself. The plot is always subject to changes, this is inevitable, but you can make it much easier for yourself if you do it right.

A plot doesn’t come out fully formed, it is discovered as you write it, at least that’s how it is for me. But that doesn’t mean you should go diving into the details right away. There’s a difference between working on the overall structure of the story and what the motivations of the characters are. Motivation is the driving force behind the plot, not what you think the story should be. As long as the motivations are true, the conclusion will be satisfying – and everything else is just details.

Don’t make it harder on yourself.

Of course, writing isn’t as straightforward as that and there will be complications along the way. But I have found a personal solution to this, when I write a new story, I treat it like a fairy tale. You write it as simply as you can because small children doesn’t have the patience to work themselves through a long novel. This forces you to omit scenes and dialogue and only add them when they are structurally necessary.

Finding your process is the hardest, and most time consuming, part of a writer’s early career and I hope I’ll find mine soon and I sincerely hope that you’ll find yours too.


© Christopher Stamfors

Don’t Listen to Your Brain; Listen to Your Stomach

Are you a conscious writer? Who planes out every word, every action and every dialogue before you start writing your story? I cannot do this. To lose the exploratory aspect of writing and surprise myself along the way.

But how can that be? How can one write without thinking? What force is it that makes us write and do something without thinking of what we are doing?

Don’t get me wrong, when the decision has already been made or the first draft has already been written, then it is time to consult your brain. But even then, only to a certain extent…

Whenever we do anything, whenever we carefully consider the implications of our actions and try to find the most efficient and logical solution to a problem, we hesitate. Because we know that it is entirely possible that the decision you are about to make will bring the worst possible outcome when unforeseen circumstances are at play. Simply put, you hesitate when you think, you start to doubt your actions and your own words.

But then there is this other force that does things for you without having to think about it. But the question is: can you trust it? Is our first instinct always right?

I would say yes; unless you have mental issues that is. If so, please, for the love of god, do the opposite of what you’re thinking!

… In any case, I, and many people call this the gut feeling, to trust your stomach rather than your brain. For in your brain, you harbour doubt, and there is no doubt in your stomach because it cannot comprehend such a concept. And if you allow it to guide you, it will make sure that you always make the right decision, always writes the most perfect “concept” of a sentence.

I say “concept of a sentence” because, like it or not, you will always need the brain to steer your fingers and your brain will never fully comprehend the powers of the gut, at least not right away. Hence, it will take many tries before you can fully express the idea that came to you, especially if you want others to share in your awesomeness.

I highly recommend that you read this article by Charlotte Seager if you want to learn more about conscious and sub-conscious writing.

Also, if you want to learn my thoughts about the most important ingredient in short stories, please read my article here

Be Proud of (Your Writing)

I think most writers has been in the position where they post a story and find that it is not getting the attention they desire. However, you shouldn’t despair, and here’s why:

First of all, getting noticed takes time (unless you are insanely lucky or know somebody already famous) It doesn’t matter how well written your piece is, you’re most likely not going to get a lot of attention from it.

But that is not what you came here to find out, because, we’ve all been there, and I know the feeling of inadequacy.

That aside, one should always do their best, because it is the only thing you can control. If you publish something and you find your viewership low, you will still have the pride in that you did your best.

One method I use whenever I feel down is that I go back and make sure that there is absolutely nothing I can do to change how the story currently is. Simply put, I’ve done my best with the level of skill that I had at that point in time. And that feels pretty good, regardless of the audience.