71

As a dyslexic, I understand the general aversion to reading. As someone who loves storytelling, I nevertheless want to be exposed to stories. There are some life-hacks for the reading adverse that want to write. Get the audiobook Not only does an audiobook outsource the reading to someone else, but it is something you can listen to while travelling to work, ...


14

Don't Write, Tell Stories. Stories began as an oral tradition. There are story telling competitions every year and some of those people never write down a thing. Look up stuff like oral tradition and you'll find your way down the rabbit hole. Now, technically, you can and sometimes still should write in this space, but lots of the greats never did and ...


13

But the number one advice to become a better author is to read a lot. This is because reading is the only way to be exposed to the variety of different styles and forms available to you. It'll be pretty hard to hone your craft when you can't see how other people are fixing issues in their work. If you hate reading a particular type of story, like fantasy, ...


12

Spend 100 percent of your time learning the craft. Spend at least half of that learning by writing. (If this sounds overly pithy to you, please understand that my pithiness is an attempt to break through the thick skull of someone who desperately needs this advice: Me.)


11

If you hate the tropes so much, then why are you including them in your story? No one is forcing you to write a story filled with stereotypical barbarians, Lovecraftian horrors, abnormally aggressive animals, and what have you. If you don't like the tropes, just don't include them in the story. In fact, the example you gave had no examples of any of the ...


10

Welcome to the Writing Stack, Alayna. When you write, it's usually more effective to focus on one project at a time You've already noticed that you can't always remember what you were planning with previous projects. When you put a story down for awhile, it can begin to fade from your memory. So if you want to write a story, it's better to keep at it ...


8

This is a great question with a simple answer: Write to learn* *Read when you're not writing. Learn from authors and stories you love. But...what should you write? Also a simple answer: Write what you want to write. If you want to write about this story you feel driven to write - do it! The advice that "your first few stories will suck" is only ...


7

Obviously you have to read, but you don't have to read a LOT. The lessons for writing are distilled into non-fiction books on writing, usually by authors of multiple best-sellers. It is actually a little difficult to extract rules of plotting and characterization from reading books, the plot and characterization are better taught, not by example, but by ...


7

What you are looking for are resources on rhetorical analysis and/or rhetorical criticism. These are critical works that study a work of writing (written or orally delivered) not for its content but its structure, in order to elucidate how the author makes their argument compelling. Rhetorical criticism is an ancient art, and the modern practices trace ...


6

Take a minute to think about this: If someone knows so much about writing that they can write a brilliant book about it, why aren't they writing best selling novels or literary classics? Occasionally a brilliant writer will take the time to write about writing (I have a list of rules for short stories by Edgar Alan Poe), but mostly the books appear to ...


6

Late answer, but to anyone still reading this, a note from an occasional translator: Yes, it will 100% push your creative boundaries! The task of searching for the right way to say something, the realization that some things have to be reworded because there's no true equivalent, and the interesting work of entering someone else's head (and voice) to try to ...


6

I disagree with what's comment. There are certain techniques used in these speeches that help convey meaning. I'm going to use Martin Luther King's I had a dream speech in my answer. What kinds of techniques are used which make a speech powerful? If you look at a few of these speeches you can see a few common literary techniques or devices that are used. ...


6

As @F1Krazy said, it isn't really an inconsistence. A beginner learner - in any area - is first taught the general rule and trained on a certain logic. Later, as they master those concepts and logic, exceptions and finer details are added in. I'll give you an example from learning English as a foreign language: first, students are taught that Present ...


5

I have a story that I wish to write. I like my story and genuinely believe it to be interesting. My issue is that I have never really written anything before. When I have read advice in the past, I have often been told that your first few stories will suck and that you will have to move on to something new. Other people say the same thing. They have a story....


5

The only way to become a better writer is to write. Yes, you can take classes and read and study, and those things will help, but only if you do them in conjunction with writing. What should you write? The idea you're most passionate about. You're worried about "wasting" your idea, but that's not possible. For one, you may not be passionate about it ...


5

I'm a fellow Writing Excuses lover. I discovered their podcast somewhere during Season 11 and then decided to backtrack and listen to everything that came before. I've listened to literally hundreds of episodes, probably averaging 4 a week for the last couple of years. I've found so much good advice, and I believe it's an incredible resource. But they are ...


5

Along the other valid answers, I'll suggest audiobooks. I don't hate reading, but lately I have little time to spend on a single book. Audiobooks are convenient since they allow you to enjoy a book as you are doing something else (commuting to school/work, cleaning, jogging, gaming, etc...). The underliying point being: you don't need to read, you read ...


5

I think it's all down to having an open mind and strengthening your grasp of what it means to be a storyteller. In a sense, Jaws is essentially Beowulf. Would you go into a lit class and ask them why they like Beowulf? Do you hate Beowulf as intensely as you hate Jaws? You shouldn't have to ask people what they like about stories in order to understand ...


5

The not-so-simple answer is both. The key to answering this completely is to identify the audience to which the material is directed. If your target audience consists of hyper-vigilant grammar police, then a misplaced comma will, at best, give them something to complain about, and, at worst, cause them to abandon the material altogether. If, on the other ...


4

My main piece of advice would be: Read. What should you read? Anything that interests you, as long as it's reputable. Novels, news stories, short stories, textbooks, well-received Stack Exchange questions/answers, etc--anything that's been under the scrutiny of a good editor. Experience the English language in its written form whenever you can. You'll find ...


4

You have lots of ideas for short stories. The way you get better is to WRITE THEM. Absolutely do NOT think about 'literary techniques'. Really good writers use literary techniques (the theory of which gets very fancy, using words like paraklausithyron, hysteron proteron, etc.) unconsciously. Really bad writers go out to write something 'literary' using '...


4

I started writing seriously when I was seventeen and that was quite a while ago. What I began then grew into well over a thousand pages of high concept fantasy that would need quite a bit of work, but I still love the story and the characters. My first effort was a very juvenile attempt at a horse novel, but I was a kid so that was understandable. I have ...


4

Similar to Amadeus's answer, I think it depends on whether you are a plotter or a pants writer. As a plotter, your stories have structure. Characters will journey forth and return, subplots will be woven into the main timeline in measured intervals, arcs will be mapped and tweaked for maximum pay-off. There may even be structural "games" built in: ...


4

Writing is fluid and dynamic. And, like most characters, you are a sum of your experiences. This means if you keep writing in a specific style and concentrate on maintaining that, your natural tendencies will start to shift in that direction. It won't be instant and it won't be obvious because your perceptions change along with the process, but if you keep ...


3

Maybe you already have a voice. It is difficult for writers to judge their own voices. You live with your voice all day long, in your head, so it seems normal to you, and boring. Other people (most of whom exist outside your head to some extent) don't live with your voice all day long. What do other people say about your voice? That said, I think there are ...


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