Now that I’m on the road to discovering my unique writing voice, I’ve started purposing to take the ideas that I have and put them on paper. This is a very fun task, especially since I have so many flying through my brain pan; each of them screaming for my attention.
I’ve mentioned in the past that a great deal of my story ideas come from dreams. Well the other day I had a doozy! I won’t share the specifics with you, but suffice it to say, I am on the road to creating a story that will be a challenge for me.
Don’t get me wrong, it will be fun to write. But the challenge will be in putting to paper the intricate plot that is rolling around in my head. This is the place where many a novice writer can, if not careful and patient, kill the story before it’s even formed properly. It’s akin to a woman going on a four-week alcoholic bender during the first few weeks of pregnancy. The results can be devastating.
While creating a story, be it a Short up to a Novel, it is imperative that we as writers take the time to plan out the story. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we have to sit down and write a forty-page outline for a short story. I am; however, saying that some actual thought needs to go into the effort. Who are your characters? Where are they from? Why are they going through the conflict they are in? What is the conflict and what caused it? Is the conflict believable? Is the cause of the conflict not only consistent, but strong enough to make the conflict a real humdinger?
The more questions we ask of ourselves and of the story, the better the plot and characters will be. Luckily for me, I’ve found a few amazing sources that are helping me with my plots and characters. Currently I am utilizing an online workshop by Holly Lisle called the Free 7-Week Plot-Outline Course. I am also reading two books from the Writer’s Digest Elements of Fiction Series titled Conflict, Action, Suspense and Scene and Structure; as well as Breathing Life Into Your Characters.
Now this is not to say that all novices have to use these particular resources. But I do believe that the more we choose to utilize planning and reliable resources, the more we will be able to deliver well-written books to our readers. After all, isn’t that one of the reasons we’re writers?