How to unlock the Writer hiding in a Storyteller

Do you need to convert a story to the written word?

Tried and failed? Why didn’t your story didn’t convert?

I bet at some time in your life, you’ve enjoyed telling a good yarn. Whether it’s around a campfire, the bed of a toddler, or long-winded joke with coworkers. The ability to tell a good story doesn’t always make a good writer.

When my children were very small, I would make up stories to distract them. I’d let them contribute by adding characters. When a long walk became boring or tiring for there little legs, the walk became a safari searching for animals behind trees and tall weeds. Long car drives became guessing games that could evolve into a story.  They never wondered why a giraffe was eating a neighbor’s yard eating leaves. They never questioned that lions weren’t native to the USA. 

Those were special moments when they listened in rapt awe to everything I said, too bad those years were short.

Why does a story not automatically translate with ease on to the written page?

It was this big!

I’m an animated talker. I can’t talk without my hands much less tell a good story without hand gestures, facial gyrations or even moving about. My voice rising with the action and softens with the tension. This makes it easy to convey to the listener what happened in the story.

However, all of that movement isn’t easy to put into words without exhausting the reader and losing their interest.

After reading a great article 6 Key Differences Between Storytelling and Writing by Gordon Long a few things about writing clicked into place for me.

What clicked?

  • Storytellers are performers.
    • We pace, wave, laugh and do all kind of gestures when telling a story.
  • It’s called telling a story for a reason.
    • Telling rather than showing doesn’t translate well. Readers what to see the action.
  • A storyteller peppers the story with adverbs. And we writers know all about adverbs.
  • A storyteller head hops and it works because he can act out each character. Head hopping is harder for a writer.
  • A writer must be more direct with dialog.
  • Unlike a writer, the storyteller is stuck with chronological order.

Most of all, Gordon Long points out that a storyteller is allowed to tell, a writer must show.

Be sure and click on his link and read his in-depth post to improve your writing.

6 Key Differences Between Storytelling and Writing by Gordon Long

Okay, tell me what you think.

Are you a better storyteller than a writer?

Does any of Mr. Long’s tips resonate with you?

PLEASE TAKE ANOTHER MINUTE AND LOOK ME UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA BY CLICKING ON THE LINKS BELOW.
AND STOP BY JEAN’S WRITING ANYTIME, I’LL LEAVE A LIGHT ON. 

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How to keep all the writing advice in perspective

Do you feel besieged with advice?

Overwhelmed and unsure where to start? Well, keep reading.

Writing is hard. Writing well is harder.

But cutting the process down to bite-size pieces helps. So, if your feeling a little overwhelmed with the do’s and don’ts of writing, reading this great post by K.M. Allan will help. At least she helped me.

How? What did I get out of her post?

  • Get the story down first. Fix later.
  • Not everyone will love my story. So, what.
  • When editing, take one issue at a time. (bite size)
  • Listen to the advice that is helpful.
  • Consider the source of the advice.
  • Last but not least, take a break and then get back to writing.

You may get something totally different from I did after you read her post. That’s okay. We all see things through different filters. The important thing is to keep writing.

When Writing Advice Becomes Too Much By K.M. Allan

Well? What did you glean from Ms. Allan?

Do you become overwhelmed with too many advice rules?

How do you handle criticism from readers and editors?

 

 

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Do you want to write a perfect, beautiful sentence?

What writer doesn’t. Am I right?

More times than not, I worry about the correct grammar and structure of my sentences. But there is so much more to writing readable prose. The reader needs to connect with our words.

How do we as writers, produce sentences that manage this connection?

How do we write our best sentences than combined make for a great story?

Here is a really good article By John Matthew Fox,  that not only lists 100 Beautiful Sentences in Literature but explains what makes a sentence memorable.

What I gleaned from his article…

  • Beautiful phrasing does not equal memorable. A reader may admire the words but not love them.
  • Wisdom does not equate beauty.
  • An ambitious sentence is not essential for a perfect sentence
  • Emotion is a must for a perfect, memorable beautiful sentence.
  • A beautiful sentence moves the reader forward.

His article is a must-read for us “perfectionist” writers. Perfection is not always what we think it is, but what our readers perceive from reading our stories.

What do you think?

What is your favorite sentence?

What do you deem a beautiful, perfect sentence?

 

Although this is from a movie, it’s stayed with me for years. That must make it pretty close to a beautiful, perfect sentence.

Harvey with Jimmy Stewart

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How to pick the best self-publishing route

So, you’ve written a children’s book but what now?

How do you decide which service to publish with?

I think it really depends on your target audience. More than cost and convenience needs to be considered. Where do you want to market your book? What age is your book for? Will it sell better in e-format or hardback? Do you want to see it in libraries or schools? What size will it be? Those are just a few.

A great side-by-side comparison for picture books print on demand costs and convenience is addressed in the following post. What Print on Demand service is best for your self-published picture book? By Dayen Sislen

Her post explains the costs and services of three print-on-demand routes you can take.  . For my easy reader I went with just Createspace, but for my two picture books, I used Ingram Sparks and Createspace.

Have you published a picture book? Which did you use?

Do you only publish e-books? Why?

If you’ve written and published a children’s book, click on the contact me button and let me know all about your book. I’d love to share with my readers.

Watch this for more info about writing a  kids books.

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