Storytelling and Why We Write

Writer at Typewriter

As writers we’re always asking why. Why do we do this? Why are our characters this way? Why can we never find time to write? Why can we never find ideas to write about?

The list of “whys” goes on and on. We have to know why we’re writing in the first place to even make our writing effective, I believe.  If we don’t have a why, then we get a what, as in “what’s the point?” Storytelling is a craft. Storytelling is a craft that we’re constantly working and expanding on as writers. It’s not an overnight activity, but a process. It is a process that many of us work on for years, even our whole lives. That’s not including the times we get stuck in the middle of having writer’s block. As writer’s we have to learn the rules, and then we have to break every single one of them, and the majority of us in my belief are still stuck following the rules.

We learn Ursula Le Guin’s techniques and much more in Jacob Brogan’s Slate article Unlearning to Write where Le Guin goes deeper:

Nodding to such encounters with the impracticable, Le Guin tends to offer rationales before she proposes rules of her own, and these rationales soon give way to something larger. “The important thing for a writer,” she proposes, is “to know what you’re doing with your language and why.” Unpacking that why often means appealing to deeper principles, leaving writing as such beholden to some higher cause. Thus, for example, she asserts that it is “a writer’s moral duty … to use language thoughtfully and well.”

Check out the whole article here.