Control: How I Write

Writing effectively is a sucky job in that it’s almost impossible. I am struggling with spending less money because I don’t make a living as a writer. Money is real. Money means not having enough to pay for everything. Money means having a one bedroom town home. Money is a dominating factor in life. I have bought one box of miniatures this month. Expenditures have collapsed. I should do better with money this month.

Struggling with money has led me to discuss politics with my friends. I wrote a piece for a political website. I worry about the next four years of my life. The problem with life is all the fucking money and sex in it. Take those away, and bam. World solved.

I don’t want to know how to write perfectly. I just want to write a little better. That will improve my life. I will make a difference in life if I can write just a little better. How does one do that?

Reading. I believe that the books that I am reading every day are helping me to write more effectively. I read two books recently and am in the middle of a third. I am using what I learned from these books to write more effectively. What did I learn?

Write more directly. Have central ideas. Use short, punchy sentences. Have an idea per paragraph. Have the paragraphs lead into one another. Need to explain very little and show a lot.

Have specific scenes. This is an important one. A lot of books have inane scenes which discuss ideas or a person’s day. These scenes add depth and symbolism and irony to the story.

Have one scene directly or indirectly lead into the next scene. Ideas stack upon one another. That creates story. For many years I wanted the story to go in many different directions. I don’t anymore. I want to tell one story correctly.

Think about the ideas and concepts in the story when planning. Think about themes or problems IRL. Think about breakups and the pain of a breakup. Then think of the social/cultural divide between men and women — or Republicans and Democrats — that could lead to said breakup. Make the breakup mean something. Develop themes.

Do some planning. Some planning can develop intelligent ideas which stack upon one another. Kill ideas that don’t work, but use ideas that do. Have an editor give you advice when a quality draft if ready.

Use description. Develop a scene. Notice reality. Describe it correctly, in a real and authentic manner.

Try to understand people. Anticipate how they might react to something. They might react poorly to being betrayed, or they might forgive someone. Reality says that people are bizarre and complex creatures. Reflect that in one’s fiction.

Finally, write honestly about themes and concepts that mean something to you. If the horror of rape is central to your life write about that. If you have a lot of experience as an esports and strategy geek — I do — then include that in your fiction.

Writing requires a synthesis of multiple simultaneous elements. It’s easy to get confused, so stick to basics at first. Develop intelligent ideas. Go from scene to scene logically. Write clearly. Rewrite. Rewrite all your ideas and stories, no matter how unimportant. People may even read this stuff. Remember that; you will have a reader in many cases. Remember that this person has millions of reading choices and a limited store of minutes to read before that person dies. No one person can read everything. So go, write, and create stories never before anticipated. Anyone can make it as a writer. Anyone.

Thanks, and take care, friends.