There is hope…
Let’s be honest, the art of storytelling is dying, but at the end of that dark and dreary tunnel I can see that there is hope, and that hope is blogging. While there are plenty of blogs on the internet that include long tirades against this, that, and the other, there is a beauty that comes from the open narrative of a blog. Creating a blog for storytelling can be rewarding, liberating, and enlightening all the same.
If you’re an aspiring writer, you know that there’s always trouble when developing a story. Whether it’s a lack of character development, a poor plot, or what have you, the benefits of having a storytelling blog can help to improve your ability to tell a good story.
A Few Things First
But before you can start slaving over the next great American novel, you must first get a few things sorted out:
Find a Website
A quick Google search for blogging websites will lead you in the right direction. Sites like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and Squarespace all offer bloggers a medium for them to express themselves and display their work.
The important thing to note is how much control each website gives you. Most of them offer users two different options: free and paid. The free options offer people the basics and simply provide them with a place to showcase their blog with very little control. The paid options, however, offer much more control as to how to the blog functions and looks.
The decision is yours as to which option you choose, but it is suggested that before you invest any of your money in a site, look hard into the differences between sites.
Find Your Voice
I believe that this is the most important aspect of blogging, even more so than gaining a large following. If you don’t find your voice then your blog will quickly get lost in the vastness of the Internet. Your blog should be an embodiment and representation of you and your personality, so it pays to be honest on your blog. If you write your blog in a way that isn’t true to you, then the visitors of the blog will quickly notice and leave. You can’t write for someone else, and you shouldn’t let other people force your hand to write a certain way or to their liking.
Your story should be your story, and no else’s.
The Process Begins
Okay, so now that you’ve got your site up and running and you’ve found your voice, your next step is to work on your storytelling skills.
In my opinion, and this differs depending on who you’re asking, the best stories are the ones that let the reader fill in the blanks themselves. What I mean by this is that
there’s really no need to fill the page with long and daunting paragraphs that overwhelm the reader with descriptive (and often unnecessary) language.
During my tenure working with middle and high school students, I was shocked to find out that none of them read anymore, although it wasn’t that a big surprise, with technology and social media so popular these days.
And one day I asked them why they don’t read anymore, and for the most part, they all just said that it’s boring.
Fair—but not exactly true.
One kid, however, told me (and I still remember it and implement it in my own storytelling) “books just aren’t in your face anymore. They don’t tell it like it is. People want something that moves them, whether in a good or bad way and the books we have just don’t do that. And half of the time I feel like I’m reading a textbook, not a novel.”
This kid was a piece of work, I can tell you that, but when he wasn’t strangling or tripping kids, he was very insightful.
With that being said, I feel that good storytelling stems in excitement, excitement, and nothing else because without an intrigued reader, you can kiss your dreams of success goodbye.
You can take what I say and run with it or you can ignore every word I said, but at the very least, go out there and practice your writing. Because I, for one, am tired of the same old things on the Internet, and nothing beats a well-written story. So go out there and write a good story. Please—I beg you.