Writing Tips

Patrick’s Writing Tips

Sometimes we have incredible things to write about. Things that are full of suspense and action and drama. When that’s the case, your job is to be a reporter. Write about the incredible thing as simply and accurately as you can.

Other times there are totally normal things that happen to us that for some reason we care about a lot. We should write about these things, too. Instead of simply reporting what happened, though, we need to write about how these normal things felt. Example: if you want to write about being bored in class, great—but don’t just say: “I was bored in class.” That’s not dramatic. Write about the sensation of being bored in class. “I looked up at the classroom clock for the billionth time,” you could write, “and realized, to my horror, that the hour, minute and second hands were in the same place as the last time I checked. How was this possible? Was there some evil mastermind controlling the clock from a secret room? And why were my eyelids so heavy? Was the teacher one with the dark side of the force? Was he forcing my eyes shut with his mind?” Your goal is to capture not just what happened, but how you experienced what happened.

Stu’s Writing Tips

To tell a good story, dude, you’ll need to get ahold of these ingredients: two L wrenches, an anvil, a whoopee cushion, a nostril hair trimmer, a crash test dummy, one of those giant boxing gloves, one of those spray bottles that’s also a hand-held fan, a carabiner, a crate of rotten tomatoes, a liter of adamantium, a flat rock for water skipping, another flat rock in case you fail to skip the first one, a fake plant that looks real, a real plant that looks fake, whiffle balls, a magical object that possesses the power to end and/or save the world, and a pinch of pesto. Put all these ingredients in a giant cauldron. Then pick up the cauldron with your forklift (did I mention you’ll need a forklift?) and shake the ingredients together. (Whatever you do, DON’T stir the ingredients. Shaking concoctions is way cooler than stirring them—trust me.)

Then again, dude, if you don’t want to track down all these ingredients, you can just go adventuring with me and take good notes.