In this video for The Atlantic, author George Saunders provides some of the best writing advice I’ve heard about how to craft a great story.
Writers have different writing process, but most of them say that the best writing happens during the daily battles with their “discontent” about what they first put down on the page. It’s hard work, frustrating, sometimes soul-crushing, but ultimately an immensely gratifying process for you to discover the real story you want to tell.
There’s great wisdom throughout the video, but some of my favorite parts include:
1:07 – Bad dates as an analogy for bad stories
2:54 – Ask yourself, “How so?”
3:17 – “Let’s just go to action…” – Great example of “show, don’t tell.”
4:25 – Two questions about how to discover intersting things about your character
5:00 – Being a good storyteller is like being a good romantic partner