Friday, 20 April 2012

Avril: Finding Your Story

All writers know about the search for story and for what it is we want to say. Sometimes this means digging deep, like Stephen King says to uncover the fossil – the story which is buried beneath the soil. Sometimes this digging is just that: the sheer hard work of writing itself, the pen in place of the spade. Write on, we say, and the story will emerge. But it doesn’t always work. We begin and then we get stuck. Some stories are just more stubborn than others. In my Spring Novel Group we seem to have done a fair bit of searching for our stories. Talking has helped, as has research and reading – but sometimes I think what works best is to take a fork and prod and shake the soil – mix things up a bit, change things round and see what emerges.

Here are seven ways to do that  –

7 Ways To Find Your Story
  • ·      Change the names of your characters – this can dramatically change how you think of them and what they might do  
  •     Change the location – make it entirely different – move them in time or place
  • ·      Take a trip out – go look at something, go for a walk – let your story sit there quietly      at the back of your mind.
  •     Read, watch films, talk to friends, talk to writing buddies – let your story breathe in the real world
  •     Write a first person piece for your main characters – hear their voices, know who they are and what they want.
  •     Ask what if? Pose lots of possibilities, the crazier the better.
  •      Listen to the radio – I find so much inspiration here – use listen again on i player  -  listen to The Writing Game podcasts

Sometimes its just one thing, one small idea, event that will give you the key to finding your story -Oh and one more idea which sometimes works for me with half written short stories, try combining existing stories in some way and see where that takes you – GOOD LUCK!

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