Open your notebook or your latop and take five minutes to make some notes on your story. Write brief descriptions on the following:
The story world ( history, society, houses, landscapes, art and all other matters)
Characters (names, descriptions, attitudes, opinions)
Scenes (locations, atmosphere, senses, dialogue, characters)
1. What is your character desire?
2. What is your character fear?
The dramatic tension in the story lies in the contrast between desire and fear. Something or someone must stand in your character's way otherwise there is no conflict, no tension and therefore, no story.
Your reader wants two things - to identify with your character and to escape from their own reality. So, from the outset, tell us what the character wants to achieve. That is our hook into the story. Now, keep the character focused on this objective. Nothing else matters. A mistake might be to allow your character to move aimlessly through the action, only reacting to events. If this is the case, then you are in danger of losing our interest.
So, force your character into action. And the more extrovert they are, the better. Extroverts just can’t help making a fuss!
You can do all the research in the world - biological, psychological, physical, political, historical – but it is pointless if it doesn’t lead to the creation of events and drama.
You are the filter for what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell in this world. You must own your experience, every detail of it, to write well. Each experience builds into a bigger picture. When you report where you are, what you see, taste, touch, feel and smell, you also release what is inside of you.
Be sensitive to all experience, no matter how small and you will be more deeply informed, often leading you to discoveries about relationships, places and yourself.
Write about those subjects that are surrounded with strong feelings. For instance, divorce, parenting, fighting a war or visiting a foreign country could be among your topics. Ask yourself “What do I hate or love about … ?” Do not answer with generalities. Be specific. List the smells, sounds, tastes, sights and textures of the event, place or person.
Smell, taste, hear, see and touch what you are writing about as if for the first time. Avoid writing about your attitude towards the subject and instead, let the images and details of the experience speak for themselves.