Posted by: Matt Y | 12/27/2012

Storytelling vs Writing

Going to just babble on writing a bit.  I’ve mentioned before that I get annoyed by some of the things I’ve read on NaNoWriMo forums or just writing forums in general and wanted to elaborate a little bit about that.  recently I read someone’s project that started off as a NaNo writing that exemplifies what I dislike, writing for the sake of writing and not for telling a story.

I love stories.  Love em.  In books, games, movies, old myths, or even in stand up comedy, I love a good story.  I like to think that I’m telling good stories with what I’m about to publish.  But there are others who write because they love to write, and telling a story seems secondary to the act of writing.  There’s nothing wrong with that, if you love to write than do what you love.  I personally dislike what usually comes from that kind of writing.  I remember talking to a friend of mine many years ago and asking what their writing was about and they said ‘It’s a story, it doesn’t have to be about anything’.

Yes it does.  This is shown in that friend’s writing.  It’s a story where shit just happens and is rarely connected with each other aside from being ‘cool’ ideas, no one evolves in the course of the works and nothing is really resolved because it’s never clear what the conflict that needs to be resolved is.

During NaNo I see people ask questions such as ‘I’ve got all these characters but no plot’ or ‘My characters are doing things I don’t them to and have hijacked my story’.  The former are people who just like to write anything to say they’re writers and that they have written.  The latter are nuts.  Your characters aren’t writing the story, you are.  Fictional creations can’t hijack shit.

I don’t want to be a writer, I want to tell stories using writing.  If someone writes with no purpose, then they’re like a pro-wrestler who thinks a match is just a bunch of exciting moves randomly strung together.  Sometimes it will be an entertaining spot fest, but it’s still just noise that signifies nothing.

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