Use your obsessions, infatuations, and confusions in your writing. What interests you?
Write a list of all the things you believe and those things you don’t. Once you know this, you will know where to look to find your stories.
Take a slice of life and ask ‘What if?’ ‘What if' drives everything when it comes to writing stories.
A list of interesting things and subjects and topics.
A list of your obsessions. Obsessions make great stories.
A list of your fears.
A list of those things, people and places you love.
A list of those things, people and places you hate.
A list of the times when something memorable and interesting happened in your life.
Your memories contain the sights, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells of your original experience. To step back in time, focus on just one sense.
Which sense to begin with? Ask yourself ‘What do I remember first?’ Is it an image, sound, smell or texture? Describe this first moment in detail to begin your journey into the past.
I write lists in the back of my notebook. Or sometimes on scraps of paper. These ‘sentence starters’ becoming the perfect jumping off point into your writing.
This first sentence starter is called ‘The Time’. The point is to list as many standout moments as possible.
For instance, it could start:
The time our daughter was born.
The time I went to Italy.
The time I first met my wife.
The time our neighbour flooded our apartment.
Later on, reading through these lists becomes the perfect place to start writing. What you are looking for is to remember as much detail as possible. Detail is the gold dust of writing that gives your work life.
So begin now, start listing the most interesting moments in your life. Try to write twenty lines. Often the most difficult lines to write are the most interesting ideas to develop.