Never Say You Can’t Survive | Charlie Jane Anders

Summary of: Never Say You Can’t Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times by Making Up Stories
By: Charlie Jane Anders


Dive into the world of Charlie Jane Anders, award-winning science fiction and fantasy author, with ‘Never Say You Can’t Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times by Making Up Stories’. In this book, Anders shares her life experiences and the power of storytelling. Learn to overcome writer’s block, imposter syndrome, and develop captivating characters and plots. Embrace your emotions and channel them into your writing to create cathartic, impactful stories. Gain insights into the intricacies of character development, story pacing, and political undertones in your narrative. A must-read resource for aspiring writers and a testament to the restorative power of writing during tumultuous times.

Imagining Worlds: A Guide for Writers

Charlie Jane Anders, an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author, shares her writing expertise, personal anecdotes, and advice in her book. The book offers guidance to authors on character development, plotting, world-building, and overcoming writer’s block and imposter syndrome. Drawing inspiration from her own life and global events, Anders emphasizes the significance of creativity in overcoming powerlessness and how imagination is an act of resistance. The book is an excellent resource for writers looking to enhance their writing skills and harness the power of the imagination.

Overcoming Adversities with Writing

Charlie Jane Anders, a skilled writer, struggled with a learning difficulty in school. However, a teacher recognized her talent and encouraged her to pursue writing. Anders used writing to cope with her transition from male to female and fictionalized her fears and anxieties. In 2017, she wrote to highlight social injustices and showcase her characters surviving obstacles. Amid family crises and the pandemic, Anders found solace in writing fiction, describing it as a form of escapism. According to her, writers live vicariously through their characters, providing them with company and community.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a Writer

Here’s why you don’t have to earn tons from your writing to be a “real” writer: even one sentence a day classifies you as one. As Anders explains, every writer faces hits and misses, and it’s impossible to predict what stories will resonate with readers. The author cautions against the detrimental effects of imposter syndrome and emphasizes the importance of finding supportive writing communities. Ultimately, cherishing the writing process is key.

Writing Success

Every writer concocts numerous ideas, but author Anders admits only a few materialize. Some stories are abandoned even when they seem enchanting, while others unexpectedly capture the writer’s attention. However, the most pleasant writing experiences result from the mutual attraction between the writer and their story. It’s unnecessary to complete every story that was started, consider it for future use and focus on the next great idea. Realize the infinite flow of creativity and allow yourself to walk away if a project isn’t working out.

Crafting Compelling Characters

To create interesting and relatable characters, authors should delve into their past and imagine their evolution throughout the story. A character’s flaws are what make them captivating, and authors should experiment to allow a unique personality to emerge. By putting the character in a crisis, the author can see how they react and develop their character arc. Through obsessing over their characters’ tribulations and triumphs, authors can escape their own sufferings and create compelling stories.

Mastering the Art of Storytelling

A good story comprises both well-developed characters and action-based plots. Instead of forcing the storyline altogether, it is helpful to write interesting scenes that build the story. Trauma should not be used merely as a plot device, and if it is necessary, it should be handled with sincerity and gravity for the character’s growth and development.

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