Easy tactics to add texture and dimension to your stories

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Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

When you hear the word myth, what do you think? An epic Homer text or a Euripides play? Do you think of a 10-hour Lord of The Rings trilogy? Something enormous and impenetrable. I find it daunting to think in terms of creating something that huge.

And fear aside, the Middle-Earth Blog by Michael Martinez reports that it took Tolkien 17 years to write Lord of The Rings. Who’s got that kind of time?

But fear not, mythology doesn’t reside only in epic fantasy or sci-fi books, and it’s not hidden in the formidable stories of the Greeks and Romans.

From phrases like an urban myth to unicorn investment, the idea of mythology surrounds us, and we love it. …

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Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

By now, most of us have digested the entire library of free Simon Sinek articles on purpose or read and applied Seth Godin’s advice to our suite of business offerings.

Depending on your turnover, you may have signed up for an SEO or data insights package to bring our customers closer to our orbit.

Now we’re all swimming in the same pond of certifications, tools, advice and recommendations, what are our differentiating features?

With technology at our fingertips more at our fingertips than ever, our greatest assets are as they have always been. …

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Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

The simple act of shortening Adam Smith’s iconic book ‘An Inquiry Into The Nature And Causes Of The Wealth Of Nations’ into its three-word, more commonly-known title ‘Wealth Of Nations’ already feels like a misrepresentation.

To search for the cause of something hints at an adverse event. We go searching for the cause of a virus or a global banking crisis or terrible leadership. We don’t go looking for the cause of happiness; then it’s the source.

Semantics you say, but the application of the economics that Smith investigated in his 1776 book reveal the same kinds of misrepresentation.

His ideas of the invisible hand and benefits of specialisation for a corporation were never intended as an advocate for total market deregulation. …

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Image by Anja🤗#helpinghands #solidarity#stays healthy🙏 from Pixabay

A monster sits upon the throne of India and Indochina; jilted and hateful he marries a new bride each night, only to execute them the next day. His rage goes unchecked. Silent anger grows across his kingdom, prayers for intervention from bereaving families, but no one comes forward to challenge him.

Until, young Shahrazad, daughter of the King’s executioner steps forward offering to marry the King with a bold plan to halt his fury and end the bloodshed.

The story of Shahrazad and the King is the framing story of One Thousand and One Nights, or Alf Laylah wa-laylah, the Middle Eastern collection of folk tales that have existed since at least the 9th Century.

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Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

Once long ago, before freelancing, my team and I were three spoilt office workers on a well-paid and long lead project. But we moaned and groaned and feigned superiority, and then team member number four arrived, G.

He practically shook the carpeted ground underneath his feet with positivity and eagerness to please. No job was too small, no middle manager too unimportant for him to please, no reason to be pessimistic about anyone or anything.

And he didn’t mind our teasing.

He knew we wouldn’t bother teasing him if we didn’t like him but more importantly, he understood that the way to survive the client cuts and organisational purse tightening was to be positive. …

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Photo by Lola Guti on Unsplash

If you’re taking some time out from the real world this Christmas; whether voluntarily or not you may need a little slice of distraction.

And while stories aren’t just for Christmas, these tales may just make your festive period pass more gloriously.

Below are five stories that, between them will be available in hundreds of languages and various formats such as novel, audiobook, television adaptation or movie. They are epic tales that have the power to transport you away from the real world; at least for the duration of the story but ofttimes longer.

Stay safe, be kind and enjoy — if you digest any of the stories or if they are already favourites of yours I’d love to hear from you. The links below are not affiliate links. …

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Image by David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay

How many unfinished creative writing projects do you have lurking in your cellar? Your first story? A notebook full of ideas from the writing residential you attended three years ago but fell out with one of your classmates, so you dare not look back there?

If you’ve finished one story, I bet you have a store because the imagination is like a weed in its ability to spread all on its own, come sun or shade. Once you’ve opened that creative door, it is hard to shut; I imagine, I’ve never tried.

So if you’ve been writing for a few years; attended more than one kind of class or workshop then I bet you’ve got a stock of half baked stories and ideas lurking around in your memory, desk drawer or hard drive. …

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Photo by Aaron Thomas on Unsplash

There’s a lot of good advice about the value of schedules and routines, systems and even deliberate practice to master your skill.

But even deliberate practise on its own can feel quite insular.

I think of the, not one, but two cyclists on different occasions, head down, lycra-clad, cycling at full speed on a straight road and running into the back of a parked car outside my place.

Maybe they felt for a moment that they were on a leg of the Tour de France instead of a busy suburban road?

It was a bad day for both; a previously expensive but now smashed up bike, blood, teeth left on the pavement. The first guy was taken away in an ambulance; the second got himself up and into a taxi. …

8 Simple Steps

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Photo by Nick Rickert on Unsplash

Do you remember your first-ever creative writing flow state? Mine was in 2013. I didn’t start with a beat sheet, or an outline, or even a protagonist; just a class exercise involving two characters.

I sat in a chair, and I started writing, and I didn’t stop for three months, except to go to work and talk to my boyfriend occasionally.

I didn’t pause for breath; I didn’t jump on Twitter to see who else was writing; I didn’t log words. It was true flow.

Four years later, I took the play to a small stage in London. It was a milestone for sure, but four years is a long lead time for a single story. …

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In 2006 world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck published her iconic book, Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success.

Her work found that people tended to fall sharply into two categories regarding their intelligence capabilities. They either considered their intelligence as a fixed and finite quantity, or they saw it as something that had the ability to grow and change shape through learning.

The group that accepted their intelligence as fixed, whether high or low, would not spend any effort trying to increase their abilities. What else could you do if you thought change was impossible?

The group that took on a mindset growth outlook saw exponential growth in their learning capabilities. …


Sarah Thomas

Storyteller, ex playwright (produced), award winning screenwriter, always writing. Creating story-based content for businesses. London based but heart in Europe

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