“I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still.”
- Sylvia Plath
Everyone can write words on a computer screen.
Most people have ideas.
Few can spin a story from that idea in such a way that people want to read it.
How can you become one of those few?
1.) DON'T SAY WHAT EVERYONE CAN SAY. WRITE WHAT NO ONE ELSE CAN PUT INTO WORDS.
"The moon was bright." NOT!
"Moonbeams glimmered from the shards of broken bottles and shattered dreams."
2.) FACTS AND TRUTH DON'T HAVE MUCH TO DO WITH EACH OTHER.
That's not just in the world of politics but in all of life.
Each of us has a grid upon which we stick isolated bits of our lives.
That grid is shaped by parents, experiences, geography, our appearance
(Read the non-fiction psychological study, SURVIVAL OF THE PRETTIEST, if you want to get depressed)
our education, our jobs -- so many things.
Grids change from person to person, economic status to economic status, from nation to nation.
Every fact you pick up is seen through the perspective of that grid.
We don't write facts. We usually write prejudices masquerading as facts.
3.) FOCUS ON THE READING -- NOT THE WRITING
Focus on the sound and flow of your page so that it sounds natural, devoid of robotic rhythm, and stream-lined.
Be Other Aware.
Imagine a particular person you're telling the tale to as if by a campfire or intimate dinner and frame your words accordingly.
4.) GIVE THE READER A DREAM FULFILLED
Ever been flustered by a bully and thought of the perfect come-back hours later?
So have most people.
Give your reader the pleasure of living through the persona of your heroine in those common dilemmas that afflict us all.
Why do you think Apocalyptic stories do so well?
Most of the characters in them are just average citizens. We can imagine what we would do in such a situation.
5.) DENIAL IS NOT JUST A RIVER IN EGYPT.
What your heroine most wants is snatched from her
and dangled in front of her all through the story, just maddeningly inches from her grasp.
Each chapter brings it close only to snatch it away at the last minute.
6.) GRAB THE READER'S HEART IN THE FIRST FEW PARAGRAPHS.
It's called SAVING THE CAT from the book of the same name by Blake Synder.
The reader meets the main character in a simple scene
that snags the reader's heartstrings, drawing him into investing in the hero:
A hungry street kid puts a stale hot dog bun to his lips,
spots a starving puppy in the alley to his left,
and instead feeds the bun to the little dog.
Grab them early and don't let them go.
7.) MAKE IT INTERESTING
Give the heroine an occupation that most know little about
but is crucial in the lives of us all and spin a wild take on it:
The Presidential Press Aide finds the DEAD body of the president in the make-up room before a press conference.
In horror, he races to tell the First Lady not to go in, only to find her talking to the President!
It turns out the President has four clones of himself --
all raised together from birth, trained in different areas to become the perfect president.
Only trouble is that one of them wants to be the ONLY husband to the First Lady!
Does this help you guys
in some small way?
in some small way?