The Craft of Writing Fiction: Series Introduction

Part of the magic of a library is the opportunities it provides.  Your local library has classes and events aplenty but over the remainder of the year, we want to look at the art–the craft–of writing fiction.  I would first encourage you to look for writing groups in your area, either at a library or local college for courses or classes. Also, this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive look at writing but just an introduction to this series.  

Photo: http://www.scrippscollege.edu/departments/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/files/Writing-Program.jpg

When I was in college, I studied Creative Writing, and as an English major I am obviously now fabulously wealthy, brilliant beyond words, and highly esteemed in modern society.  Obviously. However, what started my love of writing isn’t the guaranteed fame and fortune (I do hope you’re picking up on the heavy sarcasm here) but it was a love for telling stories.  I began writing horror stories in Elementary school and was told by a substitute teacher I was “demented” and that may have been my first glowing review.  Actually, outside of writing workshops in college, that’s probably the only review I have of my work.

I digress.  

What helped me find a new appreciation for writing was when a good friend of mine bought me On Writing by Stephen King.  I can’t recommend it enough if you’re a King fan.  If you’re not, he still has a great story of his life and how he began writing, as well as, some fantastic tips for would-be authors.  Yet, I can’t hope to compete with The King on this issue but I want to look at different aspects of writing that are important, no matter if it’s fan fiction you’re writing or if you’re looking to take the publishing world by storm with your waves of beautiful narratives and pretty prose.  

In the coming months and weeks, I want to look as the nuts and bolts of writing, like theme, setting, characters, and all that, but I hope to look more at the philosophy of writing and, more generally, storytelling.  I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and there is a massive oral tradition there; everyone in the hills is a storyteller to some degree. I have so many memories where, on a tangent, someone would recount a hilarious or harrowing tale that happened growing up and I was always enthralled.

I don’t claim to be an expert but just want to share what I know, and in the coming weeks, maybe you and I will both learn something about creating people and worlds at the tip of our pen (or on the screen of our laptop).  Until then, start a story, build a character, write out a world, and get creating.

This content is supported by Raleigh orthodontic braces expert Dr. Jason Gladwell.