All of the major points have been worked out. Thing about those points, is that you could give them to ten different writers, and receive ten very different stories out of it.

Don’t try to sound like anybody. Not even yourself. There are a lot of posts on this blog about writing voice and expression, and the best way to really do that is to just write. Don’t think about what words you’re doing, but do think about what’s happening in your story. You should know what’s happening at the present moment, who the characters are, what they’re trying to achieve, what they’re thinking and where they are. You should not be thinking about what metaphors to use, what cliches might fit, whether you have too many adverbs or anything like that. That’s a) for editing, and b) getting getting in the way of telling the story. Just tell it as it comes to you instinctively.

Think about scale. A big universe-ending moment may not have an impact any bigger than the death of a child in your story, and depending on how tightly focused on your characters you are, their lives could seem bigger than the troubles of a entire nation. Any focus can work. Any pace can work. Any tone can work. You just need to know what they are, and keep them consistent. You should not change from gritty noir to absurdist humour mid-story. You should not have a quickly-moving adventure that stops for a laborious court-case. Be consistent.

By all means, stretch your brain for possibilities about what could or will happen, but do not try to force the perfect sentence. It does not exist. Even when you think you have it, come back to it in six months, and it’ll need fixing again. It. Does. Not Exist.

What does exist is your story, and an efficient conveyance of what’s happening in the story via the words you first reach for.

The Short Version:

You should write naturally, saving your brain power for what transpires in the story, rather than how you convey it. You need to know the tone, genre and overall mood, and be consistent.

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Next: The Parachute

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