What Goes into a Blog?
To be honest, I’m not the blogging type.
Shocking, I know, but I’m afraid it’s true. I’m much too shy to bare my soul on the web. I’ve never gotten into Facebook and Twitter escapes me (I’m too long winded for the character limit anyhow). Those people who can sit down and in an hour write a riveting post about their life that week, complete with their inner thoughts, their goals and ramblings… I envy them, because that’s just not me.
I’m much more the academic, the nerd who likes the comfort of a structured essay; I find a well-written thesis homey and inviting. At my core I’m a historian, a student of politics, religion, and culture, and I’m drawn to thick, heavy books you could build a house with (Yet I still haven’t read Game of Thrones… The world works in weird ways sometimes). I watch Crash Course World History for fun.
This is the very first article ever posted on this site, which I keep here in its original form for posterity. As you can tell, the kind of content on this site (and my writing style) has changed a lot over the years! If you’d like a more accurate picture of what you can find on The Novel Smithy, check out some of my more recent work. – Lewis, January 2022
Yet somehow, despite this academic disposition, I’m also entranced by creative writing.
I’m trapped in fantasy worlds that bring the history of the world to life in a way dissertations never could, and I’ve spent far too many hours of class lost in my own head, in no way aware of the lecture going on in front of me (though sometimes that was just texting…). I’ve seen empires fall and homes be built, or spent days wandered in forests that go forever and empty lots that contain the only green life in an entire city. That’s the power of good writing, and I have long tried to jot down the stories in my head and make them compare to the books I’ve read.
When I first sat down to create a cohesive story from beginning to end, I conjured up OK scenes and decent characters, but they were separate from one another. They didn’t work to the same goal, and they existed each within their own box. My stories were going nowhere. For a long time I figured I should give up.
“I can’t be a writer, so I’d better find a new job!”
Instead, I went out to find a structure like the ones I used to write about history.
I rediscovered outlining and the elements of story I had outright loathed in my middle school creative writing class. Now I had a road map, and when I looked at the disparate characters and scenes in my head I could start to understand the threads that connected them. My creative side and my academic side came together, and thus we reach today.
I’ve spent years now studying the academia of story-telling, using what I’ve learned to strengthen and hone my creative side, and that’s what this blog will be about; the intersection of this creativity and the comfort a solid structure can bring to people like me!
The content on this blog will probably show my background in academic writing. You may even notice similarities in how I structure my posts (thesis, anyone?). My hope is that this will make them readable and a solid map for your own writing.
So get excited! At the least this blog will turn into an archive of reference material for good storytelling. And maybe I’ll even figure out Facebook in the process. There’s a first for everything!