Good Ideas Will Never Leave You

Ever tried just writing something down without anything in mind? Often, a word or a sentence will appear… anything can be formed then; a story, an essay, a poem, a blog post, a diary entry, anything. These are the true thoughts, those that have festerd and merge with other ideas for lord knows how long, until they become true. They are the thoughts you’ve resisted to write down because the written thought is where they come to die, they’ll leave you.

However, thoughts that come to you because they were written, they are the thoughts that you would never have considered without a pen in your hand or a keyboard in your lap. They are thoughts that amaze you to such a degree that you can hardly believe they come from you. You wonder if maybe somebody else is guiding your hand, telling you what to write.

When I write fiction, I have countless thoughts that it would be impossible to return to all of them, because they are a mess, and sometimes incoherent and only makes sense to the person I was at the time. I always fretted over this, trying to organise them so that I could find them easily, but that ended up taking as much time as writing itself, and, I found that I rarely returned to them. Instead, I’d write them down again from memory and I believe that is for the best, because you only recall what sticks with you and those ideas are often the best parts.

What we need to realise is that a story is organic, and so is your mind. Accept your flaws and the unknown. Embrace that there are things beyond our explanation and let it shine through your writing.


© Christopher Stamfors

The Core of the Tale

Perhaps that’s just how some stories are? Some are more demanding than others. They demand rewrites and the plot doesn’t come out as smoothly as you want. Perhaps the process is the mistakes? Finding the story can be difficult but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from your mistakes. Letting go of our wishes and desire, our egos and all the other things that make us hurry is the hard part. You must trust your instincts and let the story guide you to where it wants to take you, without ever getting attached to what you’ve already written.

But a story can’t just be anything, the idea sprung from something, the core, if you will. There must be a core where everything else grows from? You can’t change the core because that would mean it’s an entirely different story and there’s nothing to guide you along the way. If you don’t have this ‘core’ in mind, your tale can be anything, and that’s when it starts to get messy and unfocused. Basically, it means you’re writing all stories, and no story, at the same time…

I’m not sure myself if this is the case. I’ve only just come to this realisation and I’m certain that I will find the truth, sooner or later. But take my story, for instance: the core idea is that a boy finds a magical pen, nothing more, nothing less. The story revolves around this. Now, what the boy does with that pen, where the pen comes from and who the boy is, is up to the author to find out. Everything is fair game. But my hopes are that if I keep the core in mind and put my trust in the tale and don’t ignore anything, writing will be so much easier.

I’ll keep you posted how it turns out.

I can’t believe I did this again…

Yep, it’s the beginning that was flawed, I see that now. In my Last Post, I talked about my stories never ending neatly and I figured out that if the beginning isn’t good, the ending won’t be either.

So, how can I be certain that the beginning is flawed? Because I cheated again…

Again, check This Post if you want to know more, but, I have done this before, I skipped essential parts of the story because I wanted to finish quickly; meaning I neglected to explore all the characters. There’s one character, for instance, that’s part of the backstory and is a complete mystery to me. His only purpose is to instigate conflict, and because he was a minor character in the backstory I didn’t think he was essential, turns out, every character is essential… In my vision, he was inconsequential, but considering how hard I’m struggling with the ending, perhaps he has a bigger part to play than I first imagined?

He would turn out to be…

But, I couldn’t face reality… going back and changing parts of the backstory would means I would have to make major changes to the main story as well. In fact, I was so deep in denial that I convinced myself that all I had to do to fix things was to make the story longer… It will fix itself, right?

I even went so far as to make an epilogue or a prologue just to make sense; without having to put any effort into working it in organically into the tale. That’s cheating. The job of an author is to convey the necessary information within the format of the story, if I can’t do that, I should quit writing.

I think a good point of measure if something is missing in your story is when the purpose of the main character is simply to reveal the backstory and be the eyes of the reader. My main character had no stakes in what’s happening, he doesn’t change as the story progress. The plot doesn’t affect him and he doesn’t affect the plot. A pointless story.

I have to seriously review how I come up with my tales…

It shouldn’t be this frustrating

I while back, I promised myself to never work on a short story for more than a month and now I’ve broken this promise and I feel awful. Why did it take longer than the other times? I don’t know, but I feel that I need to figure this out. Writing a story shouldn’t be this hard and I refuse to accept that the story itself was flawed from the beginning. Everything can be made into a story, it’s just the author that messes up along the way. All I have to do is swallow my pride and do it over again… Right?

The way I figure out something is wrong is when I’m about to reach the ending of the tale and I start to struggle. Something doesn’t make sense and thing don’t wrap up as neatly as they should and I don’t know why. I can imagine part of the problem is that I rely heavily on intuition, that one decision leads to another and will eventually guide me towards the true ending.

Which leads me to believe it’s not the ending that’s the problem, but the beginning. If the ending sucks it is the beginning that is flawed. Makes sense, if the foundation is flimsy the entire building will be flimsy. The question is, can I identify what makes the foundation flimsy before I reach the ending? So that I don’t have to deal with the frustration and rewrites? I don’t know, I honestly don’t. At least I have located the problem, hopefully…

One Step Closer

When I write a story, the important thing isn’t in what order I place the scenes or to create a structure, the most important thing is to find the characters and their motivations. This means you’ll write very generally at first, for instance: When John came to his foster parents he was very sad.

This is a general sentence which can be explored more deeply, but right now, this is enough. But at a certain point, when you’ve come far enough into your story, you’ll need to know more about your characters to make sense of their actions later. This means you are forced to explore your characters’ feelings, for instance: It was quite in the car. Trees swooshed past them as he stared out the window, trying to make sense of everything that had happened to him. He wondered if his parents had always hated each other, or if it was just when he was born. His teacher had once told him that children came about from parents’ act of love… Did that apply to him?

(Of course this paragraph can be further refined but that is not our purpose at this point. Editing sentence to sound beautiful you should do last.)

With this, you learn so much more about the character which means his motivations become more apparent later on. This is the stage I often fail to go back to, thinking I don’t need to and just want to carry on with my story. But this is cheating, and the only one you cheat is yourself.

Hopefully, I’ll be better at catching those mistakes early and swallow my pride. My aim is to write as many stories as I can in my lifetime, but not at the cost of quality, or rather, the truthfulness of the tale.

I don’t want to lie.


It is comforting when I come to these realisations because it means I’m improving and is one step closer in becoming the writer I want to be.

I Cheated

I feel the need to be a bit more clear after my last post. All the things I said stands but I wrote it more for me so I’m not sure the point I made was clear.

I tried to cheat. I took a shortcut, and my story suffered because of it.

The reason my story “failed” was because I didn’t want to make the effort, the effort to look deeply enough into the story as was necessary. To work on the backstory is the most important thing a writer does. It creates a foundation where the rest is built upon. It also give reason for the story’s existence. What happened in the past that led up to where they are now? This question is essential and without it, the story is shallow and you can feel that something is wrong.

I always look to streamline my process, but I think this is flawed thinking when it comes to writing, at least for my style where I depend a lot on intuition  in directing my stories. I don’t like planning and I rather write in the moment because that is what I find fun doing.

Sometimes you need to dig deep, find the characters, and do more pre-writing than you hoped to do. You cannot skip this, especially when the characters’ motivations are shallow or unclear. A characters’ actions are like dominos and if one domino is missing, the rest won’t fall and the ending will suffer.

I’m Such an Idiot…

Did I just make a blog post telling you to give up when it gets hard? No! Sometimes stories are hard; some are easier than others but they can all be something. I’m just lazy. Buckle down and make it work, you bum!

Do what’s fun. You have nobody to answer for but yourself. You are not obligated to please anyone. Do whatever you feel like, nobody is stopping you but yourself. Take a break, start a new tale, finish an old, whatever. Total freedom!

Don’t forget that emotions are everything. If you don’t feel, the reader won’t feel. Become the character, live the scene. That is how a great story is made.

Time flows differently for writers. The moment is now. You are always writing in the present even if it’s the future or the past in the eyes of the characters and the readers.

Have fun.

I Made a Failure Today

Sometimes, when you write, you’ll come across failures, at least, if you are willing to explore. The plot will drive you forward, and as you go on, you will make up reasons to why things are happening, but sometimes, there’s will be a nagging feeling that something isn’t right; that no matter how much you try, you can’t salvage this story.

Yet, you continue on, hoping, that the solution will present itself eventually. But stories aren’t problems to be solved, they simply are, or aren’t. If there’s nothing of substance from the beginning, there won’t be any further down the line. When that happens, you’ll have to let go. I set a deadline on myself for my short stories, no more than a month. It has now been a month and I’m back where I started. The first chapter doesn’t make sense and the first chapter is everything. It is the foundation of your story; it is the one that will hold you on the right course throughout the rest of the tale. If the first chapter is solid, the ending will be too.

To reach a good foundation the backstory needs to make sense, but you cannot always find the backstory without doing a bit of drafting, and this is where the problem lay. You’ll fall in love with what you have written and you will be reluctant to let go and you’ll try everything to make it part of your tale, but it isn’t happening. You are corrupting your story, Frankensteining it with bit and pieces that shouldn’t be there, that isn’t true to the tale, and after while, it’s none redeemable and you’ll have to let go.

When the story has left your mind, it’s shackles broken, perhaps, you’ll recall a particularly good part of this tale and it will inspire you to make a brand new one! – someday… A better one, and do things right.


© Christopher Stamfors

50 Flash Fictions… Now What?

For four years I have been working towards becoming an author. They say that it takes 5 years before you become one, before you settle into your craft; well, at least somebody said so, I don’t remember who… In one year I’ll have reached that milestone. Whether everything will fall into place or not, only time will tell. Nevertheless, it will be something to celebrate. If nothing else, it means there’s dedication and anyone that is successful today have worked hard, but not everyone that work hard is successful. It’s the sad truth but still comforting in a way. It means there’s just one thing expected of you and everything else is up to luck, or God, if you believe that sort of thing.

When I started, my ambition was even greater than my naivety, which resulted in my first work being a fantasy trilogy. I ended up with a 400 page draft but I knew even then the amount of work that needed to be done. I could not finish such a project while trying to learn the craft. This is where Flash Fiction came in. It was a prefect format to experiment and polish your craft, and most of all, it allows you to finish something.

50 stories I have written. It took a lot longer than I expected but it was a goal of mine and I have reached it. The plan was to publish them in a collection but the quality vary so much I think I’ll not… You cannot find all 50 of my stories on my site as I removed a few particularly embarrassing ones, but that doesn’t matter. There are 50 made and it will be my last – unless the urge itches me again. The format has served its purpose and it is time to do more. From Flash Fiction to Short Stories; a format that’s a bit longer but not as daunting as a novel.

I’m hoping the longer format will force me to think more about plot, to plan ahead where I otherwise would’ve just written from my gut. If I could, it would streamline my work, just a bit, to make sure I can finish as many of my ideas as possible before I die.

Here you can find what I’ve written so far: Flash Fiction


© Christopher Stamfors

Learn how to write Novels

My last Blog Update was terrible and I’m rectifying it now...

This has been a particularly long Hiatus and I think I should explain what I have been up to for the last 8 months: Flash Fiction is a hobby of mine, it gives me pleasure to handle such a small text and it gives me an opportunity to improve my writing and to be truly creative. Flash Fiction works very well for experimentation on style; explore scenes and characters and I will probably never stop writing them. But, as I found, writing snippets of stories doesn’t make you any good writing novels.

A year ago, I dove into a story (aiming for a novel) without a plan, hoping I’ll be led along this broken tale with no direction – the same strategy I’ve been going for with my Flash Fictions. Though this is a good thing when drafting, this is not advisable when trying to polish a story. Write the draft down, then write it again and again, never commit to a scene until you have worked out as much as you are able! That is what I’ve learned. You’ll undoubtedly make changes along the way, either way, that’s unavoidable, but hopefully, you’ve created a solid foundation to build on at that point.

I knew this on a surface level long ago, but it takes practice, and many mistakes, to fully understand the craft. I’m not saying I know how to write novels now but I am confident that I know enough to put some time into my short fictions again.

I will not make any promises, however, because I know I am not a creature of habits. I might post two stories one week or none at all in another. At least you can be certain that I’m working on them and hopefully you’ll stick around to read them.

Knowing that at least somebody reads my stories gives me enormous satisfaction.

Thank you for existing.