Geek Out About Your Stories

2013 Artwork Geek out blog sketch

This is probably fairly self-explanatory and I’d be extremely surprised if it hasn’t been said before – but an imporant way of imbuing your stories (whether they’re told through art and/or prose)… with a real sense of passion and depth is really simple…. Geek out about your stories. I mean it. If you aren’t the most obsessive fan of your own work, then how can you expect anyone else to be?

Maybe this applies to some genres more than others, but the basic principle is still quite important – you have to be the number one fan of your stories, you have to be a walking encyclopedia of every small background detail in your stories (even the ones which never make it into your actual stories), you have to get excited about every small amusing background detail (and feel a sense of excitement when you add them too, maybe more than people will feel when they read it), you have to imagine what your stories would be like if they were made into a film or a TV series (even down to what film certificate the DVD boxset would probably get – by the way, “Somnium” would probably get a 15 certificate. Whereas “CRIT“, “Yametry Run” and “Anachrony” would probably get a 12 certificate etc…), what a videogame adaptation of your stories would look like, what the Wikipedia & TV Tropes pages about your stories would look like etc……..

If this all sounds slightly strange and you don’t quite feel (and, yes, it’s more of a feeling when it’s at it’s best) what I’m talking about, then it’s fairly simple really. Think about whatever really fascinates you, whatever you could give a one-hour lecture about without any notice, what really animates you when you start talking about it etc… then imagine feeling that same emotion about your own writing. It’s really that simple. Probably.

What this all really comes down to is immersing yourself in your stories and the world of your stories, the mythology of your stories, how they relate to your other stories (and crossovers can be seriously fun to write) with a sense of absolute enthusiasm. This is what makes great stories. This is what makes stories feel real – like an actual place which people can visit, another world which people can dip into for “just five minutes” and then emerge an hour later. This is the kind of thing which will make other people want to keep reading your work and, most importantly, to geek out about it too.

It also comes down to enthusiasm too – you have to be enthusiastic about your own work and this, of course, leads to the rather old and often-repeated advice about writing the kind of stories which you want to read. It’s a very good piece of advice and about the only way to really produce your best work. The fact is that geeking out about your stories is a really really good way to stay enthusiastic about writing (or possibly just a byproduct of already being enthusiastic – or possibly both of these things), even on days when you’re not really feeling that enthusiastic about writing/drawing any more of them – and any writer/artist who says that they never experience this is blatantly lying.

Plus, I’ll let you in on a secret – it also makes you feel wonderfully, for want of a better word, omniscient when you do this too. Seriously, being the one person in the world who knows the most about your stories, who even knows everything which didn’t make it onto the page, who knows everything about the world of your stories (ok, this probably applies more to sci-fi/fantasy stories…), who knows what is going to happen before your readers do, who knows exactly what all of the characters are thinking etc…. Trust me, really geeking out about your stories is worth it just for this feeling alone. It’s really something.

Then again, if you write, draw comics or tell stories in any format then you probably know all of this anyway….

(Although, I should probably point out one side-effect about this. You may end up talking about your stories a lot . Some people might find this to be annoying. I’m really not sure what advice to give about this, but I thought that I’d mention it anyway.)

(Wow! This blog entry almost wrote itself, this didn’t happen with my last blog entry. I guess I was geeking out about this one a lot more.)

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24 comments on “Geek Out About Your Stories

  1. […] too and it’s probably slightly different for each genre – but, when you’re so immersed in your stories that they provoke very strong emotions, then the reader will be […]

  2. […] You MUST geek out about your series: I’ve mentioned this subject before, but it’s essential that you are the number-one fan of your series. You really have to […]

  3. […] One benefit of adding crossovers to your story is that it subtly introduces your other stories to new readers and it is also a fun bonus (but hopefully not a service…) for fans of your other work too. Plus, crossovers are fun to write, in fact they’re either an essential part of or a natural extension of geeking out about your stories. […]

  4. […] in that kind of mindset, then you’ll want to create things. In short, you’ll start to geek out about your own work and this is always a good […]

  5. […] I’ve partially covered this subject in my articles about emotions and creativity and geeking out about your stories, I thought that it was worth devoting an entire article to it. The only problem is that there […]

  6. […] “Geek Out About Your Stories” + “One Old Rule About Beginning A Story” + “Getting Things Past The Censor” […]

  7. […] It helps you to think of your work as a whole: I’ve written before about the importance of geeking out about your stories and being the number one fan of your own work. Well, what do die-hard geeky super-fans often do? […]

  8. […] Well, guess what? If you combine your favourite genres in your stories, then you’ll probably be a massive fan of your own work. And, being a massive fan of your own work is absolutely essential for creativity. […]

  9. […] something you would really want to read: This one is fairly self-explanatory. See my article about geeking out about your stories for more […]

  10. […] already partially covered this subject in my articles about crossovers and geeking out about your story, but it probably deserves it’s own article too – although some of this stuff is […]

  11. […] written before about geeking out about your stories and this is definitely one way to jump-start this entire process. If you can geek out about […]

  12. […] you’re rambling about? As I said earlier, it helps to immerse yourself in your stories or to geek out about them. It also helps if you listen to a lot of music which is appropriate to your story when you’re […]

  13. […] writing dialogue) or it must be something that you can’t wait to start and which you also can’t help but geek out about […]

  14. […] are ways to make yourself more receptive to these random ideas. The best way is to daydream a lot, geek out about your creative work and to read a lot about other creative people as well as reading widely in […]

  15. […] make sure that it’s an idea that you are really interested in and enthusiastic about (ideally something you can geek out about ). Trust me, there is nothing worse than losing interest in a story a few days after you’ve […]

  16. […] can do with chapter titles (more on that later). Thirdly, it will help you – as a writer- to geek out about your story and, finally, it can make your readers more curious about what will happen later in the […]

  17. […] go better than others and the middle isn’t always too difficult to write. But, even with a story which you are really geeking out about, the middle still doesn’t have the fresh enthusiasm of the beginning or the emotional power […]

  18. […] written before about geeking out about your stories and this is especially important if you’re working in a genre you haven’t written in […]

  19. […] Creating a spin-off can be a good way to do new and interesting things with your series, settings and/or characters. Plus, it can also be a good way of giving more depth to a supporting character in your original story, comic or series. Not to mention that they can be very fun to write/draw too and they are a perfect way to geek out about your stories too. […]

  20. […] if you want to write a cool story, then it has to have depth. You have to geek out about your story and throw all of your energy into writing it. Your characters have to be so well-developed and […]

  21. […] 5) Follow Your Fascinations: Although Hokusai drew and painted a variety of different things, he was fascinated by Mount Fuji. In fact, he was so fascinated by it that he made at least 46 prints which featured it in some way or another and this is a good lesson for artists in general. In other words, it’s totally ok to follow your fascinations – in fact, it is essential for truly great art. […]

  22. […] written about this subject before, but the best way to make something that other people can geek out about is to geek out about it […]

  23. […] I’ve written about all of this before, so I won’t go into too much detail about it […]

  24. […] a lot of depth to your story will also mean that at least some of your readers will geek out about it too . It means that they’ll come up with their own theories about your characters, they might […]

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