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.
Story is built from your characters’ goals and ambitions changed by circumstance and connected by one unifying theme.
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.
If your reader puzzles over a word or thought ever so slightly, if she is distracted by just one unnecessary word or phrase, you have lost her concentration.
The best writing has precision, which is, simply put, the exact word in its proper place.
Writing is nothing more than a guided dream. Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream by night.
Just write. Don't wait. For if you wait, you may never start. take what is nearest at hand, accept it and then work hard to transform it.
Write as if in a trance. Always say ‘yes’ and write without censoring. Don't block anything. Hold the door open for your self to surprise you.
Only the next sentence matters, not the last. You can always go back and edit, but in this moment, all you need to do is to move forward.
Mix handwriting with typewriting. Go backwards and forwards. Write the first draft on the computer, then write it out by hand. I find that in the gap between the two sometimes magic happens and new ideas are born.
What if your story already existed? What if you were just the channel for the story to see the light of day and that all you had to do was to give up your ego and write? What if the story took shape beyond your control?
If you believed that this was true, then what do you do next?
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote longhand with a large collection of pens scattered liberally across his writing desk. He said 'Each of my pens is an individual with a personality of its own. I don't write with just one. When I'm using one of them, others are involved too. So I use different types of pens for different tasks and to emphasise different thoughts and nuances - thin or thick ones, this colour or that. And I know what each one is for. That's why my table's so cluttered. In fact, each pen is at work.'
Writing should never be an obligation. Let it be your passion. If you are passionate about your stories, you can live with them as the months roll by and the seasons turn from autumn into spring and through summer to autumn again. Sometimes it takes years to write a story. Be a long-distance runner. Be prepared for the long haul.