How to become a writer

Have you ever looked yourself in a mirror on a calm afternoon and thought to yourself, Gee, I wonder what it’s like to write a book? Probably not. However, let’s pretend that you have, to avoid an awkward situation. Well, look nor question any further, because the book that is presented to you is no ordinary book, but a guide to becoming a successful writer! By following these easy steps, you’ll be scribbling down stories like a pro.

First, get inspired! Try watching that one movie your friend has been begging you to watch about the two random girls that turn into cars. After all, you might get an idea and a chuckle out of it. If you’re feeling nostalgic, look back on your favorite book or TV series and loosely focus on an element that you loved the most, like the concept or setting. Just don’t plagiarize anything unless you want a rabid author chasing after you in an attempt to sue you.

Second step: come up with a basic, general idea. What kind of genre do you want to tackle? Horror? Fantasy? Slice of life? Basic plot? Characters? Don’t worry about the exact details yet. We’ll come back to it later.

Number three, come up with characters. Maybe base them off of real people, or go wild! Just don’t make them generic, sparkly vampires when you can do so much better than that. Perhaps a vampire that hates drinking blood and instead tries to live off of caffeine while dealing with an exhausting office job. Sounds weird? Good.

Step four is also known as the dreaded step of doom. This step will make you cry and scream like a newborn baby: writing the darn plot. I can’t really help you with this, since, well, I kinda suck at it. Just go Google it or something.

Here comes step five: making your characters suffer! I’m pretty sure ninety percent of the plot should rely on your characters crawling into a ball and sobbing. Where does the other ten percent go? Well, that’s your own choice. Anyway, your main character has a little sister? Aw, how cute. Break her and her optimism, but not too much. After all, she needs to develop as a character. You can’t get carried away with the gut-wrenching backstory with your brooding main character deciding to get revenge on the villain for stealing the last cookie! They need to grow and blossom as a person in order for the readers to be able to relate and empathize with them.

Plus, it’s decent payback against your writing buddies who have repeatedly dragged their characters into the void of despair, aiming to irritate you. Just avoid social media when you publish your book since there’s probably going to be a mob of vicious fans online harshly condemning you for making little Becky cry. But, hey, it was totally worth it, right?

Now, after five taxing steps, it’s time to draft out your story.

“But, wait, Jacqueline!” you adamantly howl, desperate to argue with me, “I don’t have any good ideas!”

Well, you know what Johnny? You’re just as wrong as the idea of leaving eggs on your sidewalk on a blistering and savage August day. Everyone has potential! Yes, even lazy Jimmy in the corner of the room, who constantly complains about literature and despises it with a burning, scorching-hot passion. No matter what, you should try new things despite of the possible end results or others’ opinions.

Now, it is time for step si…what’s this? You finished drafting your story? Congratulations! It’s time for you to introduce your story to your fellow writers! Huh? You’re experiencing the notorious IATOSMW (pronounced as eye-ought-smw… or something like that) sickness that, according to some random statistic found on Google, prevents millions of writers from sharing out their stories each year? You don’t know? Well, time to give a brief history lesson on this infamous illness. First things first: what does IATOSMW stand for? That’s easy, it stands for:

I

Am

Terrified

Of

Sharing

My

Work

Symptoms of IATOSMW include: sweaty palms, procrastination, butterflies in your stomach, mumbling, and passionately hoping that you won’t get chosen to read your story out loud. On the other hand, how do you cure this ailment?

Well… you can’t. A magical fairy isn’t going spontaneously poof into existence when they hear your cry for help and wave a silver, glistening wand to banish your fear of public speaking. It takes an abundance of time to overcome stage fright and if you try to avoid sharing your work, it can worsen over time (you don’t want to end up like me, folks). All you can do is repeatedly share your work and patiently listen to others’ feedback. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s rather unlikely the person you are reading your story to will hurl your rough draft against the wall, and shriek about how horrible and repulsive your work is, right?

From here on out, you’re on your own, kid. What awaits you now is the puzzling road to publishing your story that is filled with obstacles and uncertainty. However, do not fret, since you have people on your side to support and cheer you on! It may take long, grueling years for your story to break free from the rough draft stage and be published, but you’ll get there. Somehow.

* Remember, the Bass Corporation is not responsible for any mishaps you get involved in, such as lawsuits; additionally, it is not our fault if you feel that this guide is null and useless. So too bad, so sad, you’re stuck with this manual!

This entry was posted in Student Writing Gallery.

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