A purpose or message is usually meant to be conveyed in any grouping of words that work together to purposefully mar the blank nothingness of the medium upon which they are placed. Often, however, the collection is not quite arranged in a cohesive manner. If you struggle with this common hardship–that is, the proper conveyance of meaning through written form–I am sorry. To tell the truth, I am no expert on the subject either. In fact, my word arrangements often lose their points when presented to their intended audiences, but my ineptitude has never before stopped me from telling others how to do things.
First of all, and perhaps most obviously, the author must connect the story with his or her reader. This object is most often reached through the use of characters and other plot devices that are commonly recognized. Like magic rings or mad scientists. The characters must be relatable in some way. Humorous people, confused people, blonde people, puppies, kittens, and Pop Tarts are all great objects to use. For creativity points, try combining some or all of those: a humorous, confused blonde puppy who likes Pop Tarts.
Emotion (for some strange reason) is a powerful tool to use when writing. The goal of most authors is to make the characters’ actions believable. The story of a happy boy and his puppy will invoke pleasant feelings unless you’re a emo cat person, while the tale of an evil undead cat with an owner who murders his wife will probably disturb people. I’m looking at you, Poe.
Depending on the length of the story, background can be quite useful. A lengthy tale that contains many complex characters is much more difficult to write, but when properly executed, the end result is fantastic. Requirements: Capacity to think deeply on many levels, strong imagination, good fashion sense, and an eventful childhood in an 19th or 20th century European country.
Finally, a plot is often quite useful in the writing of a story. Whilst words can be collected and grouped without any real advancement of meaning or evolution of purpose, the abstract is generally left to lesser-known or simply crazy authors. Like me.
So that is how you write a story; let me demonstrate with a short example:
Once upon a time, a kitten and a puppy were sitting in a field. The field is awash with all sorts of beautiful colors and wonderful things, for the scene is set inside of a portrait. As the portrait is being completed, the painter decides to add some more interesting elements. She is at a bit of a loss, but she soon resolves her dilemma.
The kitten and puppy were soon joined by a happy boy who was clad in bright colors and joyous expressions. Alongside of him ran a girl who was wearing a sun dress and a quaint hat. Everyone is eating Pop Tarts. The kitten is very fuzzy.
If that didn’t make you smile, you should go see a therapist.
The following account may or may not be a genuine interview with a pyromaniac. If it is true, his name has been changed to protect his identity.
XK: So, Mr. Phlogiston, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your childhood.
P: One of my lifelong yearnings has always been to burn down a major structure. When I was a young child, I used to stand next to the chicken houses near my farm and dream of fried chicken.
XK: You wanted to cook the chickens by burning down their houses!?
P: Heavens no!! I was just thinking about chicken.
XK: Oh, I see. Well, what else did you do as a child?
P: I use to love playing with matches: Strike-On-Box; paper envelope; long-stem; and, my favorite, Strike-Anywheres. Once, I tried to make a fire bomb using gasoline and a bottle. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted. It compressed the bottle and melted away to nothing. That attempt was a fizzle.
XK: Did you ever make any more forays into the bomb-making realm?
P: No, my parents grounded me from using the gas can.
XK: Sounds harsh.
P: It was…
XK: Have you ever burnt anything major?
P: There was this one time… When I was younger, we owned a woodstove. My parents were gone on a trip, and I decided to take a shower. Before I took my shower, I emptied the ashes from the stove into the ditch in our backyard. This is where we normally dumped our ashes, but unfortunately, I didn’t check the ashes to see if they were hot. I went outside and made valiant efforts to extinguish the neighbor’s yard with a garden hose, but I ended up by calling 911. Funnily enough, my other neighbor told me to tell the firemen that I didn’t know anything about how it started. Being an honest chap, I admitted to knowing the cause. Luckily, the fire chief just laughed.
XK: He just let you slide?
P: Yes, he let me off pretty easy.
XK: Is that the extent of your combustible career?
P: Other than a few experiments that involved magnifying glasses, 600 watt video lights, dried leaves, and kittens, yes. I lead a pretty normal life.
I thought y’all would enjoy a creative, and perhaps a bit random/strange, accounting of
my that guy’s childhood ventures with fire.
There once was a dog who lived with an old woodcutter. One day he decided to walk out in the old woods that ran next to the beach. On his stroll, he passed a carriage containing the most beautiful young lady he had ever seen.
He stopped and asked the driver “who is that princess in your coach?”
To which the man replied: “She is an evil witch who has enslaved these lands, she turns into the most hideous pile of bread dough at night and the most beautiful princess in the day. None so far have dared to venture in to cook the bread, it is said that only the pure of heart may do so.”
The dog, realizing that no man had a pure heart, apologized to the driver and suggested he seek employment elsewhere.
He next happened across a fisherman’s cottage. The fisherman was outside weeping and lamenting his current state.
“What is wrong?” The kind but not pure hearted dog asked the fisherman.
“I have lost my wife! Cried the old man. You see, she wished to be lord of all the surrounding lands, and the fish gave us back this old pigsty. When she realized her fate, she jumped into the sea and said she would come back when she had retrieved her papal hat.”
The dog, thinking the man crazy, mumbled his condolences and suggested the fisherman go fishing.
Next, a talking sausage came out into the road. The dog, being hungry, ate the sausage and totally ruined the plot of another fairy tale.
Our canine then beheld a huge green man, clad entirely in green armor and sporting a grisly, green beard. The dog harshly rebuked the knight for stumbling into the wrong set of fairy tales and sent him back to Camelot.
A cat walked by with a mouse hanging limp in her mouth.
“Why did you eat that mouse, the poor little dear trusted you, and wished only to survive the winter.” Said the dog.
“Oh, I don’t know, I suppose because most people are easily entertained by simple theatrics and the slight macabre.” was the reply.
Seeing the sense in this, the dog realized why people watched Rambo movies.
Having patrolled the beach, he headed back into the woods. In front of him was a wonderful house made entirely of gingerbread and candy. Thinking that this was a severe dental hazard, he contacted the ADA and had the house censored from the next edition of the story.
This being a hugely unorthodox mash-up of Grimm’s fairy tales, the author decided to insert the following to give some credit to the writing style of the original brothers Grimm.
Arriving back at the house, he discovered that the woodcutter had chopped off one of his legs. The man, distressing because he could not feed his family, was advised by the evil stepmother to kill the dog. Taking her advice, the poor family had food that night. Such is the way of the world.