Let the story flow

In my time with the Writers of Kern, and in participating in writer critique groups, the one thing I learned the most is that everyone has their own style and way of writing. Neither right or wrong, it is just how their mind wants to tell their story. The ones that intrigued me most are those that map out every detail of their story before they begin writing it. Things such as who the characters will be, what they will look like and where they will reside. My unstructured mind has trouble with such detail up front because it just wants to get the story out.


When a story idea pops into my head, I sit before my laptop with MSWord up and I just write. I pop in names as I go, sometimes by just hitting the web and using name combinations gleamed from articles, and I keep on going. My goal is to write the story from start to finish to get it on paper. Many a time I had no idea how a story would end until I get there. Somewhere along the way in writing it, how I will wrap it up pops into my mind. There are times when the story is too big to tell with a single book, and voila, a series is born.


Once I finish getting the story into Word, I then start over and begin what I like to call the character build. This is where I will convert thought into dialogue and add characters to bolster the story, add interactions and determine who is friend or foe. I'll start building the story up by adding locations, scenery and bolstering sections to add more meaning to it. I try not to bog the story down by getting too wrapped up in details. I have never been one to want to define exactly what each person looks like and is wearing at any given moment. I prefer to add it in over the life of the story, and usually in ways that keeps the story moving forward. Such as, "You don't like my red hair?" says person one. "No, I'm not saying that. I think it's pretty," says person two. This may be where you learn person one has red hair in my story. Why? It was fun to do it this way and let's me add in the color of his or her hair while the story moves along, rather than stopping it to have a "description commercial". Again, neither right or wrong, just how my mind works. My sister once told me she skips over sections of a book where it is defining a person or scenery - she hates it she says - which made me go hmmm. All that work in defining it just so she skips over it. Who's right and who's wrong - neither - it is just the way of the world. You can't please everyone, so don't wear yourself out trying.


To sum it up, and why I am even mentioning this, is that I have witnessed inspiring writers give up on a story they were writing because they got stuck. By the time they got to that point in the story where something needed to happen, they had lost the creative juices that was the story their mind had conjured up for them. I never have had this problem and I think it is because I never get lost in detail until after my story is on paper (or Word in this case). I just let it flow out of me from the first word to the last. When I go back and fill in the detail, I can't get stuck because the story is already there. Many a time I have found new story ideas just by filling in the pieces of my story as I add in details, and many a side story has come into the plot along the way that I wasn't expecting but added so much to what the story wanted to tell. So, let your story flow through you rather than forcing it out along the way. It's in there, so let it tell itself without worrying about the rest until you have it in character form.



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