Personal Reminder: Writing to Entertain

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It doesn’t really matter how many years we spend honing our skill as a writer. There will always be things we suck at.

Personally, I don’t think I’ll ever be good at character tropes.

Here’s some writing tips (mostly as a reminder for myself):

  • There are no great, well written, books. Perfection in writing does not exist. What is considered a good book just happens to be a book with higher average amount of well written chapters.
  • All we’re required to do is move the character from one place to the next. Everything in-between are opportunities for something interesting to happen.
  • Our job is to entertain the reader. Very few things fall in that category (no, exposition does not count): Humor, sex, horror, drama, violence, romance, puzzle, surprise and wonder.

Exhibit A: A discussion between two individuals about a scenario during which a terrible war was fought where one of them tried to suck lethal snake venom out of the other man’s cock? – People are entertained.

Exhibit B: Multiple pages about the war where warriors rose and fell, the King of the Lands was slain, and everyone lived happily there after? – Boring.

  • The scene, world, etc, is not what determines the entertainment value, the characters are. If the characters suck, so does the story.
  • Always have the story goals planned ahead of time. Once we have an ending, the in-between arcs are entertainment reaching for the conclusion.

Exhibit: A cop discovers a corpse hidden away at the public square – the assumed end is the cop solving the murder, avenge the dead, and corrects whatever wrongs which led to the death in the first place – What happens between that storyline could be anything (as long as what happens are in pursuit of getting the cop to the decided ending, allowing the story to move forward), that’s where we entertain. The cop could travel to Venus, eat korean bbq with the president, wake up at a graveyard, whatever we need to do in order to entertain our readers.