So below you will find an article I have written for The News Hub.
Edgar Allan Poe – advice from beyond the grave.
It would mean the world to me if you could follow me on The Writers news Hub as the more notice my article gets the better it is for me!
I don’t mean it in a selfish way! Just want to get my work noticed.
Edgar Allan Poe: Advice from beyond the grave.
Ever found yourself wondering on how to write a breath taking vivid piece of fiction like the macabre and wonderful Edgar Allan Poe?
Well good people, I come to bring you 7 tips, advised by the macabre master himself. (Sources from openculture.com)
Finding inspiration to write does not always go to plan, especially if we find ourselves slaving away at a nine till five job that keeps us busy from morning until night. As we all know, inspiration can be found in many forms and even when we are at work, somehow we still try to convince ourselves, that even after a long tiresome day, we will still make time for our writing.
But how many of us can say that this is true, when after hours of mental planning does not go according to plan?
It is pretty certain that at some point in our lives, we all get to that dreaded point of creative starvation and inspirational dehydration. Where we were once full of brilliant ideas that could be used in every avenue available: a short story, a magazine article, a novel or even a poem becomes a struggle. But what happens when our minds just cease to come up with that ‘brilliant’ idea that could knock the socks off every Editor in town?
What do we resort to too get our creative motors running again? Do we take a break from our writing, or do we solider bravely on armed with nothing but a pen and blank piece of paper; the writing worlds equivalent of a bow and arrow if you will. What use is a bow without arrows and so what use is a paper without words?
Whether experienced or a beginner in the world of writing, there will always be days when we need to refer to some muse or another to help boost our creativity and get our minds back on track. Some writers have muses at the ready, stored away in a secret compartment inside of their minds so that they can refer to them in an event of inspirational crisis.
We all need advice on how to remain focused and driven, that’s the beauty of having an inspirational muse. There is no specific requirement to be inspired, In fact inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places. Having a muse just helps a creative mind have something to refer to in a time of need.
So, who is my inspirational muse? Known worldwide for his dark and rather morbid writings that navigated their, way into both the mysterious and macabre; the introverted author, Edgar Allan Poe, has left behind writing advice all of his own which has proven beneficial to writer and reader alike.
Infamous for his short tales, Poe has left behind some useful tips on how to better our own short stories.
Decide on an ending before anything else. This is what Poe believed should be done above all else before beginning a story. Poe strongly believed that we as a writer, should know the end of the story before the beginning. Once we have climatic ending, then we have our story; all we need do after that is just to work around it and incorporate scenes from the end, and twist them into a satisfying and believable plot.
This method is referred to as backwards writing. In a short story, the reader needs to be thrilled from the get go, so why not set the thrill at the end first and then work backwards?
Commit to writing something that can be read in one sitting. Be it a poem or a short story. Why not give it a shot? It’s bound to get those internal cogs turning again. Practise is the key. The more you try the better you will become. It’s simple really. If you find that you’re not happy with the results then don’t be disheartened; try again and keep trying until you write something that satisfies you. Remember, Poe himself followed his own advice and look where his advice got him? Talk of blowing your own trumpet sort of speak.
Decide the intent of work. An important one for all writers. To create a piece of prose that is concise and believable, first we must discover what the desired affect for our story is or in other words what is the point of it? Without understanding this ourselves first, how can we expect our readers to understand it when the whole plot is sloppy and pointless?
Poe strongly believed that we have to decide on content before putting pen to paper. What emotions to we hope to achieve in our work? Do we want to inspire love, sadness, grief, torture or a complete thrill ride that is a literary roller-coaster?
Thinking over work before we right is a must and so hence that is why planning is essential if we want to create a piece that is steadily paced and not rushed. Poe did this with all his writings and it benefited him greatly and so would benefit writers alike everywhere also.
Establish the tone of your work. Tone is everything. If we get the tone wrong then it is more than likely that we will fail miserably in trying to express to our readers the desired effect.
Poe often questioned himself over his writings what his overall desired tone was for his work. Being a renowned gothic writer, Poe’s tone was almost always malevolent that provoked people fear when reading his work. He was able to captivate readers with his writings and able to make them “feel” how he intended them to feel when he wrote.
Poe knew which direction he wanted to go in and so the outcome of his work was a huge success because of the care that he took with knowing his audience.
We as writers, need to know the tone of our work to help make it successful. If we know the tone and the emotions involved and are able to convey these to our targeted audience, then we are on the right path to success.
Determine which characters lend themselves to the effective delivery of the work’s intent and tone. Knowing our characters place in our story is the overall point of our story is it not? Without our main protagonist there is no story, only empty words, so knowing what our character brings to our piece is very important and something that must not be forgotten.
We all know how easy it is to get lost in the life of our characters when writing. After months of mental harassment from these invisible forces we almost begin to feel as if we are living out their lives as day by day passes.
Many of us sit and ponder over our creation, delving deep into our protagonist’s thoughts and feelings; desperately searching for any answers that we seek, to help make our character seem more real and come alive upon the page.
Finding a way to incorporate our character to fit in with the style and tone of our story is very important. We need a character that can suit the purpose of the piece, which fits in suitably without any flaws. For instance, we couldn’t have a happily married wife living the life of serial killer could we? It wouldn’t make sense, especially if she was happily married and she showed no signs of being unhappy in her marriage which drove her to murder.
The character needs to entwine with the prose and become efficient and concise.
Determine the setting in which your character will deliver your message. Setting is everything. As writers we all should know this.
To breathe life into our finished product, we need a setting that is able to give life to our literary baby. Setting is used as atmosphere and atmosphere is what a “good” story needs to be successful, as well as a strong plot, believable characters and decent motives.
Poe knew nothing better than creating a good atmosphere. Even when he wrote “the raven” the atmosphere inside was superb, both eerie and intriguing alike. And the tone? Overall it was sad when broken down.
Poe combined all these aspects brilliantly, hence why the outcome was so great. Poe took great care in understanding the simple fundamental rules of writing and even though it’s not very complicated to follow, the basic rules can do wonders to help improve one’s skills.
Foreshadowing the climax, or put simply, conceal any giveaways that are vital to the ending of your characters journey.
Revealing the ending too soon in our writing is a bad idea as it makes readers lose interest, as they have already been informed of what our characters fate entailed. Trying to find some clever way of hiding this throughout the story is good way to keep the reader’s imagination alive and us writers a chance to expand on our protagonist’s journey without dishing out any spoilers.
There are many ways to do this if enough attention to detail is taken. Poe believed in keeping the surprise till last and leave readers wondering what the outcome of the strange journey was about to take.
Resisting the giving away of the final climax is important. With our writing we should try and keep spoilers at a minimum, perhaps little hints here and there will add to the excitement; make it subtle but leave the big climax until the end.
All these tips are important to every writer all over the world and have been used many times before but goes to show how vital they are to our work as they keep reappearing often.
Edgar Allan Poe, was a brilliant writer who believed in originality of his work. He followed his own rules and wrote what he wanted to write.
So my fellow writers, take heed of these tips as they benefit us all in some shape or form and remember: “write while keeping originality in view.”