gluedwithgold: (Default)
So. The lovely [livejournal.com profile] akintay posted a Friending Meme over on her journal (which I would link to, but I still don't know how {will someone please just wave a magic wand so I know how to use this site? Pretty please?} and I think most people who will see this already know her anyway so, yeah.) and it reminded me that I have this here blog/journal/place to spew forth all my thinky-thoughts.

Lately I've been inundated with new story ideas. It seems every time I turn around I'm grabbing my fiction journal and scribbling down thoughts on some new plot or character combination.
You see, here's my story. *settles everyone on pillows on the floor, passes out cookies and juice*
I studied creative writing in college - growing up I was always writing stories, foregoing recess to sit with a notebook, commandeering my parents' old electric typewriter (I'm old - we didn't have computers back then!) and eventually going on to study writing, despite parental protest. Being young and immature as I was, I didn't really take advantage of that education. I didn't put the work in. I wrote, sure - I participated in all the workshops, garnered some skill from being critiqued on a pretty consistent basis. But I didn't take the opportunity to really learn storytelling like I should have.

After I graduated and the real world struck, I gave up on writing. Now, 20 years later (yeah, that long - I said I'm old - shut up!) I've reignited my passion for writing in a major way, and with my new maturity I'm working toward learning all those things I should have learned when I was in school.

And it's paying off. My dialogue has improved immensely, my characterizations are getting stronger, my descriptions more vivid. I'm starting to work imagery and theme into my stories and my plots are becoming more complex.

When I first came back to writing, coming up with ideas was a struggle. I'd get a vague image of a story - a lot of times no more than a sentence or two. I would sit down to write, and let the story unfold as I worked. The characters would come to life, conflict would emerge, all in front of the keyboard as I struggled to put one word in front of the other.

Ideas are coming to me left and right now - and they're becoming much more intricate. My latest one filled two pages of my journal, and incorporates a lot of the history of the protagonist (which will come out within the story, of course). This one hit me two days ago, and I've been filling in details since. Just a few minutes ago I was sitting here pondering what my secondary protagonist's character flaw would be. And it hit me - THIS is how you build a story.

I've had many discussions with my friends ([livejournal.com profile] dancing_adrift and [livejournal.com profile] non_tiembo_mala) about plot and how to come up with what actually happens throughout the timeline of the story. We're all learning to improve our writing, and plot seems to be the one thing we keep coming back to, that we keep struggling with.

What's happening for me (and of course, everyone's process is different, this may sound assinine to someone else) is that I start with a situation, a premise. Into that situation I put characters. How those characters interact, react, change, grow - that's where the story unfolds. So, what I'm learning is that rather than needing a specific series of events - A happens, then B happens as a result, leading to C happening - what really fuels my storytelling is character. The more fleshed out, the more real my characters are, the easier it is to throw them into a situation and let the events unfold. The more intimately I know the characters, the more logical it becomes to see what they would do, how they would react. If one character's flaw is a fear of commitment, when he meets another character and falls in love, that is going to create conflict for that character.

So, basically - all those exercises I was supposed to do in college, creating character sketches and biographies? They were right. It's useful. It's important. It's integral to storytelling. If I could go back in time and talk to my 20-year-old self, I'd definitely smack her upside the head and tell her to pay attention. Who knows, maybe we'd be published by now!

Now...I just need to sit down and actually write all these stories....

February 2017

S M T W T F S
   1234
5678 91011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:38 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios