Writing to me is an endless download of the build up of crap absorbed along the way. I have no choice. It is a form of therapy, and if I could stop it wouldn’t be for long.
In different writing groups joined over the years, I have met people who make a timeline, depicting their stories before they start to write. They put in all the peaks and valleys to make the most effective and well laid out story. Like a science, they methodically outline it from beginning to end.
Within the first two pages you meet the protagonist, you will find out details of their life, then the first problem arises and you meet the antagonist. The hero/heroine will face three crisis, the first from an outside source and the next two from the follies of trying to fix the first and he/she muddles along as they try to resolve them. Lastly comes the solution and the ending or the moral or lack of moral of the story.
I have tried this method on more than one occasion, but I loose interest in my own story once I map it out. It feels contrived and I prefer organic thoughts rolling off the tongue or a story that rather throws up on the page. Like you, when you read a good book, I can’t wait to sit down to see what the characters are up to when i write. That’s my motivation when I fictionally character based stories, is I want to see what they are up to. I let them take me where the story is going. Perhaps this is why I am not published, but I enjoy the process. The creative unfolding. The exploration and development of the character.
To me there is something very magical about pen to paper. It has taken me a long time to change over to the keyboard. My push was when dozens of my journals started when I was twelve-years-old were soaked in a storage box under my leaky deck. It ruined most of my diaries full of teenage ramblings, heartbreak and history. It felt tragic to lose them at the time. Reality, the books were full of bullshit, like most journals and the endless babble of teenagers would be. Back up disks are your friends, especially when you’re writing starts to improve.
My doctor back home in Canada ran a very busy practice without a minute to spare in his life. He said, ‘When I retire I want to become a writer, and write a book or two. I said really, ‘Maybe when I retire I’ll become a doctor.’ We both laughed. You never know, he may be somewhere writing books and drawing his characters from his crazy patients met over the years in our low income neighbourhood. Life is proven to be long and when time comes to retire perhaps your creative juices will flow.
Writers take many years to develop their own style and voice. Although many people can write well, a story from a slightly different point of view drawn from actual truth and experiences are always most interesting. Everyone has a story inside them, and don’t let anyone tell you that writing is meant for the elite and educated. Simply not true. The most interesting people I have collected in my own life, are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Writers read. Writers write. Writers drink? It is an isolated form of analysis. I like to think all fiction is a version of reality and is a reflection of some part of the inner dwellings of our lives. It turns you inside out and exposing the deepest darkest corners of your mind, the most vulnerable secret thoughts and exposing them. Bartender, a glass of Merlot please!