The Eyes of a Writer: Where is the Story?

Every story of fiction was built from something real. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was a partial response to what he witnessed as a soldier in the Great War. Severus Snape from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series was based upon an old chemistry teacher. Two Years Before the Mast, a nautical tale by Richard Henry Dana Jr., was inspired by his time as a sailor. In some ways, we as writers have no choice but to draw from our own experiences or relationships — they’re all we really know. It’s not a realization to battle against, but rather one to make use of.

So Your Story is a Fixer-Upper: Editing and Rewriting

Too many young writers think that their story is finished when they finally type “the end.” Unfortunately, the truth is far less romantic. There’s no final clip of the typewriter, no satisfying shuffle of papers as you set the last page in place. Imagine yourself crafting a great cake — three tiers, strenuous attention to detail, carefully placed fondant — yet when you set the last bead of icing in place, there’s nothing left but to cut into it and eat it. And there’s nothing pretty about that.

The Lightning Bug: Word Choice in a Thesaurus-Driven World

With the advent of new technology, there is an undeniable shift in the techniques and themes of literature. This is a trend that has permeated history. With the replacement of typewriters by digital word processors, we were introduced to a new ease of revision; with the invention of reading tablets like the Nook or the Kindle, we saw an alternative to spacious personal libraries; and with the increasing accessibility of the internet we’ve experienced the obsoleting of physical dictionaries and thesauruses.

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