I’m going to be honest with you. It’s a bit rich of me to be spewing wisdom like “‘show don’t tell’ is reductive and potentially crappy advice” and “ideation is a key to success” because I have absolutely no formal training in writing whatsoever. Everything I know about stories comes from the other side. I have a lot of training in critical thought, and I’d like to think I’m at least adequate at it.
As a result, I’ve made some assumptions about writing in the past. When I make those assumptions, Luke (who does have formal training as a professional writer) usually manages to say something that surprises me. Often it’s insightful wisdom or highly organized, process-based logic, but he did throw me for a loop once. When I went off on a tangent about whether a character would be able to see mountains from where they were standing in a comment on a section of Charlotte’s Journey, I learned that Luke was largely unfamiliar with verisimilitude. Certainly not the concept itself, but the word. I always sorta figured it was writing 101 stuff, but there you have it. Continue reading “Adventures in Terminology: Verisimilitude”
Last month, I wrote a section of Charlotte’s Journey that is told from the perspective of our villain, Count Vilnius. When we eventually assemble the jigsaw puzzle and put all these sections in order, “A Vile View of Vilnius” should be the second chapter dealing with our big bad, but in draft format this section was the first time Luke and I had privileged access to Vilnius’ thoughts. It was also the first time I had a chance to write the character at all.
The constant refrain when writing Charlotte’s Journey has been “do something simple very well.” The simple part is so that Luke and I are working in a frame we’re familiar with. The very well part is there so we challenge ourselves in that frame. Although I’ve encountered a number of difficulties writing Charlotte’s Journey, writing Vilnius was perhaps the most difficult so far. As it result, it may also have been the most rewarding. Continue reading “Writing Wrongs: Doing Right by your Villain”
Adventures in Storytelling is an ambitious project. In between multiple jobs and mortgages and marriages and home renovations and all manner of adult responsibilities, about a year ago, Luke and I made a big decision. We decided we would go ahead with this project, even if we didn’t really know at the time what the project was, exactly. Now that we’ve had some time to think about what we’re doing, we’ve realised that in some ways we’re doing what has been done many times before: we’re building an online writer’s advice website. Our novel trick, our niche, is that we’re trying to prove that the advice we have isn’t just for writers. It is for any creator, storytellers of every make, shape, and size. Nevertheless, we are very well aware of the fact that we’re moving over well-trodden ground. So why the continued commitment? Why are we passionate about Adventures in Storytelling?
Continue reading “Reclaiming the Title of Storyteller”