What to write? Write about what frightens you.
Fear is a map. It tells us where we lack experience. It shows us where we perceive our boundaries to be.
Oedipus killed his father and slept with his mother, but he did not know this till he and his mother were told by the seer, Tiresias.
Your character’s life told in the narration halts your story’s forward motion dead in its tracks, whereas one or two well-dramatised scenes can powerfully represent that past life and at the same time keep your action moving.
It is your business to write what other people think but don't say. Go for the throat.
Start with anything that bothers you – be honest, be angry.
Remember how people react to a car accident. Highways choke up as drivers slow down to gawk. It comes as no surprise that news programmes concentrate on bad news first. That's what interests readers.
The journal is one way of freeing yourself from the misguided belief that 'Writing Should be Important and For a Lofty Purpose' and remind yourself that 'writing about nothing is always worth doing'.
You will find that it will supplement and stimulate all of your writing. Never stop keeping a journal, even when busy with other work. It will always be a source of inspiration.
We are haunted by our childhoods, by the important things we lost on the long walk to adulthood: the intensity of love and fear, the talismanic rituals and objects of affection, and the moments of comprehension of our place in the scheme of things.
What your character thinks is shown in everything she says. She may be proving or disproving some particular point or enunciating some universal proposition. All these comments reveal her personality. Her remarks also show her moral purpose. There are things she wants to talk about or things she wishes to avoid.
Don’t confuse the reader by having your character talk about something that has absolutely no relevance to the story. Everything said must be relevant, revealing the character’s motivation, experience and attitude.
Story is built from your characters’ goals and ambitions changed by circumstance and connected by one unifying theme.
Pay attention to what you feel after you read. What did you learn? How did you feel?
Record the images and phrases that stick with you as you read books and newspapers or watch the world. Notice how you feel and record these sensations accurately.
All told, the creation of a story can take less than two weeks from start to finish.
About an hour brainstorming ideas and events to include in the story;
About two days to write the outline;
About two days doing some research;
About five days to write the story;
and about three days to rewrite the story.