Jumping the Gun

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These are exciting times at ArtoonsInn and as organizers, we couldn’t be happier. We are witnessing a change akin to the tectonic shifts, with the inauguration of the Claws Club and massive improvement in events like Smuse. The response we got from the One-Day writing event, Xmastoons has also helped both us and you in covering all types of short story events ranging from 6 words to 4000 words! 

This post is specifically targeted at the Newbies. Most of you have shown us promising skills, and we have no doubt that some of you can actually compete in good spirit with the established writers of ArtoonsInn. This is the time to jump the gun and participate in our flagship events – Artales, UniK and Five00. These events have a steep learning curve, the reviews are more elaborate and the first two (Artales and UniK) also give you an opportunity to be part of the esteemed Claws Club (Yaaayy!).

Over the course of various Smuses and the standalone Christmas event, I witnessed a trend of writers sticking to a particular style and tending to write for themselves, which is good, however, the bigger challenge lies in writing for your readers. The next step in your writing journey should focus on writing a Universal story (and no, A Universal story doesn’t mean writing for the lowest common denominator). We all have great stories in our heads. Getting them out of our heads and penning it on paper is the hardest part. Here are three tips for your next writing adventure:

Finishing your first draft

First and foremost, the one thing which troubles every novice writer is to switch between the roles of ‘Writer’ and ‘Editor’. While we are writing, we can’t afford to think like an editor, especially when we are finishing the first draft (Remember, I chose the word ‘finishing’, First draft is basically a chore). Finish your first draft before you even think of rewriting it.  If you’ve ever written a story of any length, you’ll know how satisfying finishing can be. Once you are done with your first draft, take some rest. Try to read it objectively (if you are unable to do so, send it to us, we are happy to beta read your stories). Only after then should you start editing your draft.

Take care of your ‘shifts’

Do make a note that the Narrative and Plot can change quickly but when it comes to Tone and characters, it’s always gradual. Your characters are made up of flesh and blood, not cardboards. The change in their attitude/mannerism should be gradual. Do not switch it for the sake of cheap thrills. If a character changes suddenly and inexplicably, it isn’t believable and it isn’t satisfying. Try building up to this shift. It should feel earned. If you foreshadow this aspect of your story properly, it will improve your story exponentially. Your story acts like an invitation to your thought process. The more you refine your story, the more you look good.

Say No to Exposition explosions.

Fiction writing is hard, Short fiction is harder to tackle since you need to take care of Space-Time aspect of your story. You should be aware of the need to grab a reader’s attention as early as possible. One technique to achieve this is to start a story by jumping straight into the middle of the conflict or action. Do not waste words on the setting, instead sprinkle the details over your story. It’s tempting to setup your world before you introduce your story conflict but this info dump may backfire. Starting near the start of second arc (technically), will help you grab the attention of your reader. Over time, you can slowly reveal the explanation in what will, hopefully, be a satisfying and engrossing process for the reader.

With this, we wish you A Merry (belated) Christmas and a splendid New Year!

All the best for Five005. Happy writing!

-Edited by Husna Thaslim


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