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My Writing Manifesto

Last updated on 22/06/2023

Writing is often a natural progression for some, while others grow into it over time, inspired by their love for stories. I emphasize the significance of characters and world-building in crafting compelling narratives, as both aspects bring depth and richness to a story. Engaging in conversations with characters helps me understand their development and creates multi-faceted individuals within the story. I also explore the concept of starting with an idea or a concept, allowing it to evolve and branch out, forming the foundation of a story world.

Additionally, I touch upon the influence of personal values and political leanings in writing, showcasing how different perspectives and ideals can shape the narrative. Writing is a powerful tool that allows us to share our messages, bridge gaps between diverse perspectives, and create immersive worlds that resonate with readers. Ultimately, my goal as a writer is to bring light to the world, offer a unique perspective, and inspire others to explore their own creative worlds. Writing is a liberating and connective experience, capable of transcending time and distance, and it is through the words on a page that stories come to life, guiding the writer and giving the story its own voice. With a desire to share my thoughts and contribute to the world, I hope to inspire others to express their own worlds through the power of writing.

Growing into writing

Many people never know whether they are going to be writers when they start out in life. For some, it just happens, and they find themselves as a writer once they have written something that they love. For others, they grow into it over time, and they start out just reading and investing themselves in the story worlds. These people can ask themselves what would it take to write something like this. All it takes is for them to try it out, and then they can consider themselves to be a novice writer. 

I didn’t always believe that I was going to be a writer once I grew up. That sort of developed over time. But one thing that was always true throughout my life is that I love a good story. To me, it never mattered what form the story appeared in, whether that was in a novel, comic or even on the screen. When I read a well-written story, I have never been able to pull myself away from it.

As I grew up, I wondered what made stories like that so compelling. I often came to the belief that it was the characters that inhabited the story realms. But it was also the world in which the story took place because if that aspect was not fleshed out, the piece would feel hollow and not worth the time it takes to digest it.

Through writing, you can develop who you are as a person. Creating a story world allows you to come up with a variety of different characters and places. It is all up to you how these stories might happen, and you can allow these to help you develop your own character as a person.

For me, when it comes to writing a story, I always have the idea in my head that writing is like having a conversation with the characters. In the regard that when you are writing, you are creating a life for these characters, and at times, they can go on a trajectory all on their own. By mentally conversing with your characters, you can better understand the way in which your story might develop. It is also a great exercise to flesh out the characters so they can become multi-faceted beings within the story. 

Depending on what I had intended to write, I would have a conversation with the characters I intended to write about. I would discover their likes and dislikes, which would bleed into their characterisation.

A good story is always filled with great characters, and what makes these characters great is how thought out they are. There is an immense difference between a three-dimensional and a two-dimensional character. This idea goes for both your main characters and side characters. Your three-dimensional characters are fleshed out and become living, breathing people within your story realm. Filling a story with these three-dimensional characters can help to bring the story to life and make it feel richer.

Concepts as seeds

Often, I would start from one of two points when it comes to my writing. Either an idea or concept that I wanted to explore, or I would have a world in which I wanted a story to originate. These two aspects have worked for me in many ways when I’m trying to figure out what I want to write.

‘I am a part of an organisation that works in the shadows. We hunt down those people that cannot be touched and deliver justice to the untouchable. We wish for you to join us. Haven’t you ever gotten tired of not being able to make some real change?”

Excerpt from a previous unit ALW740 (Prose Writing Project)

That last question caught him off guard. It wasn’t something that Alex had expected him to say. That is why he joined the Order of Justice in the first place. He wanted to make the galaxy a safer place for everyone in it.

This piece of writing was created from a concept: what would it be like for a human bounty hunter in a world full of aliens. This first concept then led me to more and more questions that made me able to develop the overall story further. In fleshing out and discovering the answers to each of these questions, I created a story that had a real underlying story. 

In the creation of my finished manuscript, I started with a concept. I had the idea of a battle in space between two heavily armed fleets of warships, and from that idea, everything began to branch out. It led me to the next idea about an overarching galactic body that organised the galaxy in a way that allowed everyone to live in some semblance of peace. All of these culminated in several questions I had: where were humans within this galaxy? Did they exist? Was it our own galaxy just many years in the future? More ideas came from these questions, and they slowly developed into the world I created to house my story. Each aspect of the book’s story then feeds back into creating a richer world for different stories to develop.

There have been many other aspects that I have tried to do throughout my writing. I have tried starting from a word and then turning that into a story. However, it is an interesting experiment and can bring about some fruitful writing. In general, it did not work for me, and I found that it was too constricting for me. But that could be something that works for others; if you do not have a concept to work from, playing with words is another way to create a story. 

The word association game is the best way to create a story from a single word or a set of words. You start a random group of words or words that you find interesting and then try and create a short passage of writing from those sets of words. You don’t have to use all of them or even any of them in your writing. It can be used as a starting point to get the creative juices flowing in your mind.

One of my favourite writing pieces occurred within a class within my bachelor’s degree. We were given the choice of several essays and then had to write a story from one of the passages. The passage I chose was from Anne Carson’s The Glass Essay, centred around the idea of liberty. This concept drew many other attached ideas to my head. It is an ever-encompassing concept and has featured in many mainstream media and literature. For me, it drew forth a story about a cavalryman in the United States Civil War.

Have you ever heard the steady, high-spirited drumroll of a soldier’s march? Rumbling, it bleeds into the very bones of the ground and presses into your boot heels with each pace. It drowns out each and every wandering thought with an insistent beating akin to one’s heart.

Excerpt from a previous unit ALW102 (Theory of Seed)

This shows how starting from a concept can bring forth some of your best writing or at least set you on the right path to producing it. The best concepts to choose are those that can lead in many different directions and can’t be easily tied down.

You might never know how a concept might turn out for your writing. The only way to find that out is to start writing and explore the experience as you go along.

Values that enrich

There are many ways in which a person’s way of thinking will affect what they write and how they write. One such way is a person’s political agenda and how they want to impact the world. Every person has a different upbringing and way of thinking. Their views on life always can seep into the way they write. We are all products of the world we find ourselves in. That might be why some of us try to invest ourselves in other realities. We wish for those places to become our world so that we might be able to change ourselves. Through that alone, writing is such a powerful tool, and readers can become invested in a world they love so much that it can help to shape their worldview.

For me, it depends on what I am trying to write as to whether or not my political agenda will fall into it, intentionally, that is. My writing can often be filled with aspects of how I wish for the world to be. Or how I think it could be better.

My political aspects have always been relatively left-leaning. That view has the potential to bleed through into my writing. The way I might portray a character or how a story might develop can be affected by the political leanings I have as a writer. 

More accurately, I would say that my ideals bleed through more into my writing. My values stem around the idea of treating every person with a degree of humanity, treating each person equally so that they may live their lives how they want. 

The idea of good and evil in our world is something that can only easily fit into stories. In reality, it is much more difficult to pinpoint good and evil. The world is more grey than that; nobody is wholly good, nor are people wholly evil. They fit along a scale. There are often times when a person in our world is viewed as evil from one perspective, and from another, they can be considered to be a hero. Perspective is a massive thing that plays into the way in which we view the world.

Creating different perspectives within my writing is a new development that I have been trying throughout writing my manuscript. Showcasing that many of the people we view as opposing us in a conflict are just regular people who wish to go about their lives. 

Writing is a powerful tool for those who wish to share their message with a wide audience. It can help to bridge the gap between many people from all different walks of life. It is an entity that many people can find solace in. We as writers can share what we want with the world in often an easily understood method.

My world created

Creating these worlds is a difficult process, but it is fulfilling when the end result is achieved. You need to think about many aspects, but when you start, you don’t need to have a fully fleshed-out world to write a good story. Often, a story world will develop as the story itself develops. When you are writing more aspects of your story, you can come up with a grand idea that helps the story world be created. The story world is created one word at a time.

Because I have this world created, I am able to create an endless number of stories that can inhabit this story universe. I can ask myself another hypothetical in regards to the world, and then I have a potential story if I wish to tease it out. 

Having a created world filled with living and breathing characters is a sure way to have the ability to create an endless number of stories. Much like our real world, a story world lives and evolves, and new ideas and events are happening all the time. 

I bet everyone is familiar with the statement; write what you know. It can be interpreted in many ways. It can be a quite useful piece of advice for many people, but this is not the case for everyone. What about the people who wish to branch out outside of the box, which can be defined as what they know. Many people can wish to experiment with their writing, and they don’t want to be defined by the constricting aspect of only writing what they know.

My ultimate goal with writing is to bring some kind of light to the world. I want people to be able to read my writing and become immersed in the story and view the characters and how they interact with one another, and project that onto the outside world. I want my writing to be a force for good. There are many ways that I would like to use my writing to help others.

To be able to write something that would help others in any way would bring my soul some solace. I find the act of helping those around us one of the noblest pursuits, and I would like to do what I can with what I have at my disposal. Writing is one such thing. It is a thing that has the ability to reach so many and interact with them on a deep and personal level.

Writing is a liberating experience for quite a lot of people, and it helps to share things that might not be as easy to speak aloud. It is also an entity that can connect people across time and great distances. 

With each word that is placed upon a page, a story world is in the process of being formed. The more words that can be found on the page, the more developed that story world will become. Once there are enough words on a page, the story world can have a life of its own. The story itself can form its own way of how it wants to be written. It may sound weird to think that simple words can have a mind of their own, but when they form together, they can create an idea of how the story should develop. It is always up to the writer to listen to what the words have to say, or they can go their own way and force the words into their own mould.

I write because I have something that I want to share with the world. Something that I believe no one else can give, something that makes me unique from others. Nobody thinks quite exactly as I do, and I want to share my writing and writing processes to offer my unique take on many aspects of the world. Each of us is unique in our own little ways, and we each have something that we can share with the world that others might not be able to. I want to do that in any way that I can, and writing is my way of giving you a glimpse into the world I have created. It is a world that I want others to be able to join in and experience for themselves. Because who knows, it may help them to express their own kinds of worlds. 

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