How To Write A Story

It’s Simple. It’s Almost Impossible.

A few years ago, I bought a skateboard. I had never skateboarded before but it was something I always wanted to try.

I stood on it on my street. I crouched. I leaned. I twisted. I could do a few turns. Then I found a hill in my neighborhood and almost broke every bone in my body.

A skateboard looks simple. At its core, it’s four small wheels and a piece of wood.

There is no motor. There is no handle. There is nothing to stop you.

Such a simple setup has so much power. The power when used incorrectly to break every bone in my body. The power when used correctly to do amazing feats that few others can do.

It’s deceptively simple. But it’s almost impossible.


My newest novel(la) is almost finished. I started it last year over spring break. Through starts and stops, drafts and trash, I’m almost there.

This year my goal was to focus more on craft. In that process, I’ve thought more about “story” and how to hit the certain beats. Sometimes I want to hit those, other times I don’t.

What are you (what am I) supposed to do with this? Well, the setup is simple:

  • Have an interesting idea
  • Transform that interesting idea into a story with a solid structure
  • Write that story really well
  • Find people who appreciate that story because they’ll naturally share it or publish it or whatever

Sounds so easy, right? The setup is simple, but everything is else is hard. Really hard. The execution is difficult and tedious. Just like how a skateboard seems so basic. But when it comes down to it…there’s very few of us that make it happen.

It’s almost impossible. Or it seems that way. Until it doesn’t.


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I’m Josh Spilker and I blog about writing and books. For more like this, sign up for my newsletter here.