A friend once told me the secret to creating a great story is to think about the storytelling process like that of building a house. First, you have to set a strong foundation with the key elements of story: character, plot, setting, theme, and voice. Then, you research and fact-find to build the walls and provide your story with credibility and stability. Finally, you clean up all of the building materials through editing and refining and add in last touches to create a beautiful, stable, and well-thought-out story (home)!
Regardless of the style of story you’re crafting, be it modern or traditional, The Story Center offers a variety of online resources to help get the story-building process started or to help if you’ve hit a roadblock. Here are a few of my favorites that you can access simply with your Library card:
- Writer’s Reference Center covers grammar, punctuation, and fundamental writing tools like citation and research techniques.
- Gale Courses offers a variety of online, instructor-led, six-week courses. Among their course listings are such storytelling gems as: Introduction to Screenwriting, Creativity Training, Keys to Effective Editing, as well as a wealth of genre studies and specific workshops. Assignments are given, and you receive helpful feedback from the instructor.
- Universal Class has an extensive selection of instructor-led fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and novel writing workshops. Classes like Journalism 101, Memoir, Writing Short Stories for Children, and Writing for Marketing are all self-paced and have the added benefit of earning a CEU or two at completion!
If you are taking a deep dive into telling a digital story, Lynda.com gives step-by-step video workshops on all of the most popular applications, such as Adobe Suites, Mac, CAD, and others! Take a look at the applications à la cart or dive into one of their professional pathways in areas like Video Producer or Game Developer and Designer.
Experiencing other stories is key to invigorating your own stories. Check out what other authors are writing that is similar to what you’re writing via a great feature on Novelist called the appeal mixer that allows you to find books by searching not only for things like theme, but also tone, mood, story elements, character elements, and much more! Say you’re writing or telling a fast-paced story about a flawed new homeowner with a menacing vibe. Now you can find other titles that are similar to yours for comparison!
I hope that these “building tools” will help to make your story-crafting experience smooth and seamless! As always, your friends at The Story Center are standing by to help make the story of your heart a reality.
Visit us in person or virtually at mystorycenter.org.
The Story Center
I have a blog that I started about my family of stories growing up. Members of my family have insisted that I try to get it into print. What are your suggestions on how to do that?
It sounds like a great option for you would be to utilize our book printing service through the Espresso Book Machine. Dave at The Story Center takes appointments to help format and print your work! Find out more here: https://www.mymcpl.org/story-center/publishing/espresso-book-machine.