Different may not be better

I’ve been actively writing since elementary school and telling stories long before that. I engage in many forms of storytelling using many different mediums. I’ve written lots of short stories, some published, some not. I study social sciences, humanities, critical reading and writing, and literature – by all means I should know how to create and weave a sound story. Continue reading

Advertisements

Good storytelling, a gateway to critical thinking

A good story can broaden our imaginations, our sense of wonder, and excitement. Storytelling is an excellent way to teach truths and encourage critical thinking and analysis that will remain with individuals far longer than what they learn in some classrooms.

Storytelling is a bridge between education and entertainment.

If I handed you a college textbook about military leadership and strategy, chances are you wouldn’t be too excited about it.

On the other hand if I gave you Ender’s Game, a marvelous Sci-Fi novel, filled with page-turning battles, compelling characters, and a message of tolerance, love, and understanding, you may be inclined to read. Then you may be surprised to know Ender’s Game is recommended reading for members of the U.S. Marine Corps precisely for the military leadership and strategy contained in its pages.

Good storytelling lets you take something from “boring” to “compelling.” Continue reading

Believability and Consistency

One of the most basic things you’ll learn in philosophy/logic will be something called conditionals. There are three different kinds of conditionals but for the sake of this post I will only address one: the strict conditional.

A strict conditional means it must be true in every possible world, it necessarily must be, or is always the case. Continue reading

The Reasons for Writing

I’m not talking about why someone chooses a certain story or having certain themes and motifs in their writing. (That’s for another post.) But rather, the reasons we write at all.

The reasons someone sits and puts ink to their thoughts, creates worlds, and gives birth to characters will greatly influence their writing. As you see in many forms of media: music, videogames, or music; things tend to decrease in quality, or what made them great in the first place, when they “hit it big”, leaving early fans and followers to feel cheated. This leaves the impression that the creator “sold out”. Writing and storytelling carries the same inherent risk.

I never know each detail of my stories when I begin and, even if I think I have it figured it out, I’m always making changes and tweaking it, at least slightly. However, when I start writing, I do know why I’m doing it. My top three reasons for writing are as follows:

  1. For God. Every good thing I possess, every good quality I have, is because of God. He’s given me the talent and ability to write and tell stories. While I have been blessed with a natural affinity for writing, I know there are always aspects I can improve upon. I write to show my gratitude for the blessings I have. I know nothing I do could ever repay what God has given me, but I would be selfish if I didn’t acknowledge the source and share just a small part of what He has done.
  2. I write for my family and friends. I want them to be a part of my journey and to know how they’ve influenced me and helped me. Oftentimes for me, happiness is only real when shared, and what brings me joy is something I want to share with the people that give me joy.
  3. I’ve said it several times before on this site and quite often in real life, but I believe that stories can teach real world lessons applicable to all and give strength in times of need. I think back to when I was a child and the fictional heroes I grew up with who were people who exercised great compassion to others, lifted them up, and tried to show them how to have hope. They were people who stood alone against many to defend the innocent, even though it would be hard and they would be ridiculed or even killed. These were stories of never surrendering to difficult struggles.Wait a moment, those kinds of things happen in the real world almost every single day, don’t they?Big news or not, these people exist. Far too many real heroes are unsung, but their ideals, sacrifices, and bravery can influence limitless characters and become immortalized in fiction, thus honoring them forever.These are the things that have stuck with me and inspired me. I write to provide service to others. I’m not financially well off, I can’t donate millions or thousands to charities right now, but I can be a friend to someone and hopefully do something for them that will help with their difficult times.

This is why I write. Whenever I consider starting a story I ask myself, “Is what I’m writing reflecting my ultimate reasons for writing? Is this in harmony with my goals and desires?” If it is, I proceed. There’s been passages in my stories that I rewrite or remove altogether because I felt I didn’t do it justice.

I’m not saying everyone should have the same reasons for writing as I do; that’d be wrong of me. However, I will say:  find your own personal reasons and stick to those. Things that may appear small to you now, like, “I only write for my children”, will influence generations to come, starting with your kids.

Anything that is based in doing good, no matter how small, is just as important as supposed grand things. It is my belief that if you stay true to why you do something, having passion for it, you’ll continually produce quality work, develop and maintain intellectual integrity, and become the kind of person worthy of respect who will stand the test of time.

If you feel comfortable, I’d love to know why you write! Please share. 🙂

The Power of Rhetoric

Rhetoric can change your writing from something bland to something addictive in just a few simple words.

Everyone and their mother has their own idea of what rhetoric is. I will be primarily using the definition found from www.dictionary.com “the art of using speech to persuade, influence, or please”. If I may add to this, I would also include suggestion and subtlety.

There is power in words. There is power in the way something is presented. Continue reading

Planning your story

A major reason for writer’s block is: not knowing how to move your story forward. Careful planning can help get rid of this entirely.

Consider an architect; they start off with the end image of a building in mind. Then they make plans, measuring out the area, and the height of the building, all the while considering what the building will be used for. Is it a house? A hospital? A skyscraper in New York City? The architect decides what building materials are to be used, balancing cost and effectiveness, before finally starting to actually build their vision.

You are the architect of your story. Continue reading