The magic literary sauce
Recently I have been researching writing techniques to spice up my novels. I’ve always said: if you want to become grand like your references who are successful, follow the steps that they took to get where they are. Apply the tips that worked for them and avoid the mistakes they commited. Our lives are too short to waste time experimenting. As I mentioned in one of the chapters of my diary “A Writer Behind The Scenes”, becoming a great author is not based only on talent, but comes by being humble to learn. (It’s also applicable in any other field). I love this quote from Cindy Trimm: “Your attitude determines your altitude”.
So far I’ve come across these great ingredients:
- Chekhov’s gun
“Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”
I discovered this concept by chance while I was watching some short writing tutorials on Youtube (links at the end of the page) so I searched it on Wikipedia (read more on Chekhov’s gun.)
It has helped me to be more selective. Sometimes as an author, there is so much one wants to say; but it’s also important to learn how to appropriately transmit the relevant information to the readers, not just a word salad we understand ourselves. I’m learning to avoid unnecessary details, but also to maintain a certain consistency in my plots.
- Harry Potter’s magic and Grimm’s longevity
I am a great fan of Harry Potter… I completely devoured the story, the creativity is brilliant and the concept is innovative. I also love tales, especially those written by the Grimm brothers. They’ve accompanied me throughout my childhood until now. Aside from the fantasy component that I’m greatly fond of (which turned into my favourite genre as the years went by), I started to consider their tales from a more mature point of view. What made them transcend time, overcome the blackhole of oblivion and leave a steady legacy for 200 years? Their biography is so rich, I’m just starting to learn.
Now that I intend to take writing seriously, I am evolving from being an ardent fan/ reader to becoming a disciple. I hope my own stories (Tales of Dreamland for example) will benefit from this admirable heritage.
Check the link I read: “What made Harry Potter so successful”
- Freud’s science
I am interested in Psychology as a science, so I do a lot of research on that field. In literature, I am a great fan of psychology novels, webtoons, series, korean dramas etc, whether it’s the main component or it’s combined with other genres.… “It’s okay, that’s love”, “Dr Frost”, “Yumi’s Cells”, “It’s Ok To Not Be Okay” etc… Any story that talks about how thoughts are processed or how the mind functions is my cup of tea. Although the title may suggest so, I don’t focus on Freud only but I research on the whole field in general. I just chose his name because he’s one of the most famous pionners.
As a writer, it’s a necessary ingredient that I add to my plots (my novel Unescorted is full of psychological allusions). It helps me define the characters’ traits and therefore make the story more understandable. It also helps to engage the audience in empathizing or relating with them, therefore making the plot more captivating. More importantly, I don’t want my stories to be only for entertainment or to pass time. Through them, I wish to raise awareness, transmit healing and cause my readers to reflect.
I hope you enjoyed these tips! What were your favourites, and why? And which other ones would you suggest? Let me know in the comments below!