Fingers know that writing is not a mechanical action. It is not easy, nor simple. It involves more than grammar, spelling and knowing how to tell a story. You need to inhale and exhale art, demonstrate creativity, revitalize words that seem, sometimes, forgotten. Writing is giving power to letters. And in order to give power to something you need to train it, like any sport. The best athletes have hard training sessions to get better, and, the best writers, should have the same.
The positive side is that we count with different tools that can serve us as our "coaches". If we do not have enough time or resources to have an official education, a teacher, editor or boss to guide us, today there are writers or literature teachers who make free tutorial videos on YouTube that are very useful at writing time. These videos, in general, cover everything you need to know in order for a story to be successful.
In addition, a video is usually more attractive, dynamic and easy to digest. Sometimes the visual contact with another person, whether through a screen, makes teaching more enjoyable. At the moment on YouTube, there are some interesting proposals in different languages.
In English, Platforms like Ted, have hundreds of writers and educators who offer lessons about how to write better. Nalo Hopkinsonhas an extremely detailed video about how to make a fiction novel to come alive. The drawings, the language used, the multimedia resources and the way to give you perfect examples and simple explanations, create an effective and different teaching. Cheri Steinkellner, on the other hand, explains how to write comedy.
Vivien Reis, an independentauthor of The Elysian Prophecy, also has a channelwhere she talks about different topics related to writing every Wednesday. These are very useful, since it touches important and creative topics, and generates closeness with the audience by watching her at all time in front of the camera.
On the other hand, in Spanish, we have Covadonga Literary Workshops, which is a writer's channel named Covadonga who is responsible for supporting you in writing a novel. She gives you tips, steps, and/or tutorials, and uses the text as support, but you can also follow her through the audio. On her website, she also offers special services for writers.
On the other hand, we have Enrique Páez with his online workshops. The Spanish writer, specialized in children's and young people's literature, offers us a wide range of videos that deal with different topics about how to tell a story, for example: how to write science fiction, how to create your first paragraph, how to write a horror story , the profile of a writer, among others.
Also, Inkspired has itsOnline Academyevery Monday, which in addition to having its own channel on YouTube can also be followed on the same website and on Facebook. Each week, the journalist and writer Jackie explains a new topic related to fiction writing. The combination makes the audience feel that we can all write if we put ourselves into it.
Sometimes we do not need many words to tell a story. And for some, it's even more interesting like that. If you are one of those, we want to tell you about micro stories, which are extremely short fiction stories that have 50 to 250 words maximum. But the most important thing is that they are not a summarized text, but, rather, the opposite. A micro story is the boiling point of a longer story. Its key is to narrate the most important part of the plot and leave to the reader the power to imagine what we do not say.
We will go in parts.
First, unlike a novel, micro-stories do not have a specific literary genre, but they play with several. Sometimes they tend to be more poetic, others more undefined. Here it is worth experimenting and playing with creativity. The more original we are, the better.
Second, although art is needed, at the same time it is necessary to be direct. In a novel we can afford to decorate sentences, play with words or use more descriptions, but not here. We have so few lines that you should go straight to the point, but at the same time do it with style and good writing. Each word is important. A good micro story is one in which the reader realizes that the writer is good. You do not need to read more.
Third, do not tell everything. Here it is not necessary to write everything that happens in the story, not even the whole climax. Forget about the introduction, the knot, and the outcome, and only focus on the main action. What could you tell the reader to create an image in his head and at the same time leave him with a desire to continue reading?
Fourth, be concrete. Look for synonyms, simplicity but uncertainty, precision but sonority. Let each word evoke exactly what you want to convey. Do not use any characters or places, focus on a scene, a fact, or in two characters, which make the reader understand the essentials of your story.
Fifth, you must catch the reader. Therefore, the image created in his/her head is one of the fundamental points. The narrative must be so strong that it builds an imaginary scene in the reader's head.
Sixth, the end is the best. This must be so imposing that it forces the reader to keep thinking about it and to put his imagination at stake. You can play with ending a question that intrigues the reader, or with a phrase that unexpected.
Then, one morning, she started putting a milligram of polonium in his coffee. -The Snoring
Seventh, give it a mystery. Play with punctuation marks and silences. These also speak, and even more so in a micro-story, in which magic is in what you do not say.
Eighth, use the structure you want. Some, what they do is start intriguing the reader and then take it to action, which then triggers in a final or unexpected turn.
Ninth, the title is transcendental. As the micro story is so short, the title also brings information, light, and creativity to your text. Use it as part of what you want to convey.
And tenth, edit, edit and edit. It seems that writing a short text is very simple, but sometimes it is even more complicated since you must be as precise as creative. Do not worry if it does not come out the first time and if cutting out words seems like a pain in the neck because as you write more, you will get better. At the end of the day, with the immediacy of the digital age and that people read less, micro-stories have become "few words for great stories".
With this, we want to tell you that in Inkspired we are about to launch a new format with Micro-stories and you can be part of it. :) All you have to do is send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with all the micro stories you have written. They should have maximum 500 characters or 250 words; a title; your name; your Inkspired user; and 3 hashtags that identify it. They can be in any language, the more, the better! We hope to read you soon.
The variations that you can generate in your timeline can enrich the reading and create an expectation in the reader. Maybe you already know many of these or maybe you have applied them before intuitively. Anyway, it will not hurt a little review.
Analepsis is a variation in which we return to an earlier point in our history that has already been overcome, it can be a memory or a way of revealing something that had not been said before, it can even be the same fact -already overcome by the protagonist- but seen from another perspective. This is a method in which we can solve many doubts and create many others.
Have you ever heard "a good story begins at the end"? this is what the prolepsis refers to. You reveal a fact that has not yet happened in your timeline and you hook the reader to the question: How did this happen? Do not exaggerate, if your advancement is too revealing, you may simply ruin the surprise.
The ellipsis, on the other hand, is a leap in time, why describe the tedious and boring years in the institute if nothing interesting happened in them? Thanks to the magic of literature, we can take the character from childhood to adulthood, without getting into adolescence. The interval doesn't have to be so long, in fact, this is one of the most used resources taking into account the classic "the next morning". We simply omit unimportant details and turn the page. It also serves to hide information that can cause intrigue, for example, we end a chapter with a "-we have to talk" and we start the next one with "the next morning".
Now if you want to skip everything that happened in a day, a year, a hundred years or more, without omitting important facts then do a summary. With the summary, you can compress everything that is very long to tell, the war of 2000 years ago, the routine of the day, as you lost all afternoon in Inkspired. It is a little-detailed way of summarizing the reader something tedious.
With the silepsis or acronía your timeline will move a bit, it is about telling a story from two timelines at different times. That is, it does not refer exactly to narrating two different stories in the same writing, but the reader has to see how those two temporal lines are connected throughout the story. Fairly suitable for a time travel story, don't you think?
Finally, the uchronía, the greatest illusion of literature, is the classic "what would have happened if...?" Well, this is not so easy in a fictional world. First, it is necessary that the Reader knows where he is and everything about the story, just then you can tell what would have happened if things had been different. It is easier to write it from our own reality, for example: What would the world be like if the Nazis had won? So we could easily have a dystopia today.
Now you can give yourself the task of making some variations on your timeline or even staging stories as a writing exercise to handle them perfectly. Take advantage of it.
He invites you to his mind To his emotions. To his past and to what he longs for the future. He shows you his weak side, but also his strengths. He reveals his secrets, and at the same time, what he hides. Then you fall in love with his personality and his way of empathizing with you. You are interested in him and what he is about to experience. You don't really know how he looks, but that makes him even more attractive because your imagination flows. You know that for you he will be someone special, because even though is far away, sometimes even far from the reality, the details will make you feel close to him: The tone of his voice. The color of his hair. The shape of his face. The way he thinks. And at the same time, his behavior, his values, his psychology, but above all, his story. And that's when you realize the importance of the characters in a novel, especially a protagonist.
In a novel, whether fiction or not, the characters you use are crucial. Without characters, there is no story, and there is no more to say. These people come alive through words and they become your friends, or enemies, especially the protagonist and antagonist. Therefore, if you decide to publish a fiction story, you must know how to create them wisely.
But, how? This usually depends on the author and the kind of novel he writes: real or fiction if it is the first one, it will be easier to identify characters, because they are already created, but if it is the second one, everything has to come from your author's mind.
Once the theme is defined, you should ask about whom the story is about. And when you have identified at least the most important one, the next step is to build your story. Who is this person? What is his or her name? How old is he? Where does he live? How does he look like? What are his life's goals? How is his past? What are his talents and his strengths? What are his weaknesses and his fears? If you are one of those who draws, then draw him. It helps.
It is important to know everything about your character as if it is your closest friend. You must know his intentions, his mind, and his heart. Because only then you can transmit the same to the reader. It is not necessary that you write EVERYTHING about him in your story, there are things that surely you will not even tell, but having created them and written them for you before, will support you to describe your character effectively and you will give him his own personality.
Once you have defined your protagonist's story and his surroundings, you have to introduce him to the story. You have to create his actions, his way of responding to conflicts, his feelings. The more descriptive you are with this, the more you will get readers to empathize with him. Your job is for them to know him and feel him as if they were seeing someone real by his side. Be creative.
Another fundamental aspect is your character's arc, which happens when he goes through a personal transformation during the novel or he grows in a certain sense. For example, he starts being one way and ends being another. This makes the story even more enriching and interesting. If your character is flat and boring, your readers will also feel flat and bored.
The secret lies in how much you, as the author, know about your characters. So before you start writing your fiction novel, define them and make sure you have done your research, since there is nothing more captivating than a book that introduces you to new "friends".