“I have the most wonderful idea for a story, and everyone will love it and think it’s the best thing. I know exactly how it will start! I know exactly how it will end!” I say excitedly.
“What about the middle?” says an innocent bystander, not realizing they have just incurred my wrath against them.
Well, I didn’t exactly plan the details.
That’s how all my stories are. They’re so inspiring, and I can’t wait to finish them! But then I start writing, and once you get past the introductions, you get into some sticky ground. Development? Characterization? Plot lines?!? What is it with all these difficult things?? All I wanted to do was write an awesome story!
This week, I have been absolutely cruising through Hero. I’ve written multiple pages a day, and I feel good about what I write. Every few minutes, though, I have to stop and remind myself- What am I writing towards? What points do I need to get across right now? What do I need to do to forward the story?
I actually have a plot line, and all sorts of random papers stuffed in my notebook telling me what needs to happen to reach the end of the story. But the hard part is getting the characters to move in that direction. You know, they say that to write convincingly, you have to let the characters speak to you- but I’ve found more often than not I let my characters tell me what to do.
I think I’ve figured out how it works. First, you get an idea. Then you write the plot. Then you expound each plot point so vividly that it turns into a book. So really, writing is just taking an idea and beating the story out of it.
Don’t let an idea fade into distant memory just because the details are fuzzy. Follow through, and beat the book out of it.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison