What the character says reveals more than pages of description. She reveals herself through her words; her thoughts, feelings and influence.
When she says “Politicians! They should be cut into pieces and fed to the lions” you know her better than if you had just written ‘She had extreme opinions on politicians.’
Sometimes it is just easier to start at the end than it is to start at the beginning. Make a list of all the big moments in your stories and ask yourself ‘How did I get here?’
Then ask ‘What happened just before this?’ and then again, ‘Before this?’ and then again ‘Before this?’ and soon you will find yourself back at the beginning, but with no detours or diversions. This is a good way of staying on track without getting distracted.
Anger tells us we don’t like where we have been. It shows us where our boundaries are. It tells us we can no longer get away with the old life and habits. It tells us we are being reborn.
There is always a consequence to anger. It should never be acted out - but acted upon. It is a conscious reaction to being frustrated. It is your story map.
Read the papers and books, watch the news, listen to the radio, all the while making notes of any interesting ideas.
Can dull and boring ideas be made interesting? What if you raise the stakes, add twists, change locations? By reframing the facts, you will find the stories to want to write.
We, the readers, have total control over your story. We control when we start to read and when we stop. You cannot force us to do anything. This is our choice.
We want to read stories filled with a sense of continuity and life. We are looking to step into the characters’ skins and to be immersed in new worlds.
Problems grab our attention. The more difficult the problem, the greater the hold the story has over us. The job is to show us how it is done. Hook us, play with us, and don’t reel us in till the end.
What do you believe? What interests you? What questions do you have? Are you looking for answers?
Commit to your beliefs. Let the truth come out through your writing. Start with the simplest beliefs and then spread out, allowing them to become complicated. What are the consequences of your beliefs? What is the good and the bad in them?
When writing your story, use this knowledge to influence your writing, but don’t make the mistake of telling us what you believe. Let us work it out for ourselves.
Childhood stories are about friendships, laughter, bravado, tears and pain. Ask yourself a few questions to spark those memories.
As a child:
your favourite toy was ...
your favourite book was ...
your favourite sport was ...
your best friend was ...
your favourite sweets were ...
In the Guardian, the scientist Siddhartha Mukherjee writes about his love of writing and tells us the question he asks before he starts to write.
To read the full article: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jan/13/siddhartha-mukherjee-my-writing-day
Truth is grey, not black and white. What we believe to be true can change over time. There is an inscription above a door at the German Naval Officers School in Kiel that reads:
Say not ‘this is the truth’ but ‘so it seems to me to be as I now see things I think I see’
There will always be someone who believes the opposite to what you know to be true. Don’t let this stop you from writing what you believe. Truth is strongest when time is spent to investigate, explain and verify the facts. The problem is that sometimes it is easier to come to a conclusion by distorting, hiding and twisting facts.
So what to do? Be honest. Don't pull your punches. Don't worry about being blunt. Tell us the truth as you know it.
They want to be immersed in new worlds. They enjoy the rhythm and vividness of words. Problems and conflicts also grab their attention. The more difficult the problem, the greater the hold the story has over them.