on Fiction University:
Don’t just write a good book. Write a great story.
Fiction is an odd combination of skills. The craft of writing is technical, with rules and techniques that achieve different results, yet the art of storytelling is visceral, relying on creativity and instinct to pluck the best pieces from our imagination.
While the story is often what grabs us first, it can quickly get overshadowed by the technical aspects. Is the opening line hooking readers? Should this be first or third person? Is there too much backstory? Instead of crafting a story readers can’t put down, we’re counting how many adverbs are in each chapter.
This can lead to technically well-written novels, but not great stories.
Now, I’m not saying ignore the technical side of writing—that’s how you bring a wonderful story to life—but don’t lose sight of the joy and magic you felt when that story idea originally came to you.