How to Write a Story

June 18, 2013 — Leave a comment

Do You Want to Write a Story?

I came to writing about a dozen years ago now and took the scenic route to publication. I felt no pressure to arrive anywhere, but poked around historic sites (old stories) long after the material had gathered a layer or two of dust. I tried a few different genres and toyed with a variety of plotting styles before one day I realized I might get old and die before I’d set my mark on the map if I kept on at this rate.

Was my journey wasted? I’d like to think not, if for no other reason than that I’ve also found I love to teach writing. Because of my array of experience, I understand that there is no “one true way” to completing a salable story. Every writer’s mind works differently, and it can take some time to learn how yours does.

One example: I got it stuck in my head early on that writers were either plotters, who created a complete outline ahead of time and stuck to it while writing, or pantsers (seat-of-the-pantsers) who sat down with a bright idea and no planning whatsoever and just wrote down whatever came to mind. It didn’t take very many novels (of the 11 I’ve written) to figure out I was neither. What has taken me a long time is figuring out what I can pull from each camp in a method that works for me. This concept of finding your plotting style is something I spend a lot of time on in the course I devised.

Opportunities to teach in person are not plentiful where I live in rural Western Canada. A few months ago I decided to start a new teaching blog. Sure, there are many places online where folks can learn the ins and outs of writing fiction, but I didn’t see anything quite like I had in mind (though it may well exist). I set up and fashioned a 2-prong approach to teaching a basic, methodical overview of the fiction writing process.

1. I created a FREE writing course to be delivered by email. When you sign up, you’ll receive the first lesson (the “idea” portion of planning a story) in minutes. A new lesson will arrive every week for the better part of a year as we work through the entire process, from planning, to plotting, writing, editing, publishing, and marketing fiction.

2. I post an article every Thursday on the blog. This also fits into one of the six sections as noted above. Sometimes I accept guest posts but most are written by me about lessons learned along the way.

I don’t think of writing well as “Christian” or “nonChristian.” Like many other talents and skills, it can be used for good or evil. My goal with To Write a Story is to teach the basics in a way that is suitable for anyone, teens and older, regardless of genre and religious affiliation.

To get more information and to sign up for the writing course, visit If you’d like to subscribe to the blog entries, there’s a sign-up for that on the sidebar as well. You can also follow me on Twitter at @towritestory. I tweet at least a dozen writing quotes daily as well as links to my blog to write

If you’ve always wanted to write a story, I hope you’ll join me!


Valerie Comer

Author & blogger where Faith & Food Meet Fiction; ACFW & FM member; farmer, gardener & local foods activist & follower of God.

“Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance” releases August 1, 2013


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