Considerations When Writing a Story

Scott Snyder
5 min readOct 25, 2021

Things to think about when writing, that some people may not consider

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There’s a lot to think about when writing a story. I have been writing stories since I was 14 years old, and I want to begin by saying that I do not, in any way, consider myself an expert. But having written for 50 years now, I feel this gives me experience that I can share with newer writers, who may just be getting started.

Many of you may know that this topic that I’ve chosen to write about today, is a step away from what I generally present here on Medium. My normal modus operandi is to write missing person pieces, domestic violence stories, or an occasional opinion piece. But I wake up early most days, and spend time in front of my laptop, often formulating ideas on what to write about. Today I got to thinking — what if I did an about-face, and put out a piece on things that I always try to consider when penning a story. If it helps one or two new writers, that’s great. If not — well, I wrote about something different. I’ll take that.

So, without further ado, here are some thoughts I’d like to share.

Write what interests you

When I decide what topic to write about, it’s always something that interests me. If you write about what inspires you — what you have a passion for — your story is much more likely to hold the reader’s interest. Doing stories on things that you have no concern for, or things that you are not familiar with, often lead to a boring piece. So write what you like. I’ve always had a fixation with the criminal mindset. That’s probably one reason that I enjoyed investigating crime for 20 years. And I still recall vividly, that the first story I penned in class at a Washington junior high school, was about a fictitious arson fire set in a J.C. Penney store. I wrote if through the eyes of the arsonist. It earned me a grade of “A”, and I knew then that I was destined to write. I was 14 at the time.

Pay attention to GSP — grammar, spelling and punctuation

This probably seems like a no-brainer to many of you. Yet, I’m amazed by news stories that I read online that have misspelled words, improper grammar and bad punctuation. Simply stated — it looks unprofessional and sloppy…

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Scott Snyder

I live in Oregon. I’m a retired Police Officer and Forensic Child Interviewer. Writing and music are two of my passions.