Thursday, June 30, 2005

Writing insight of the day

When I am stuck trying to build my story (before I even get to outlining), I have a set of questions I answer for myself. It's like giving myself a pop quiz about the story I'm constructing. Some of the questions are "who is this story about?" (who is the main character?), "What is it the main character wants?", "What is it the main character actually needs?"

By forcing myself to answer these questions (and there's about 50 of them) I get a better understanding of what I'm writing. Certainly I'll find I can't answer them all at once, but the best part is, that if there is a question I can't answer, I know I need to think about that aspect more before I sit down and really outline the script.

Anyway, just one of the methods I use to craft story. Everyone has their own way of doing it...what's yours? What do you do when you struggle with crafting your story?


Anonymous said...

I have been trying something new, give everyone a birthday and then look up the zodiac characteristics for it and see if something springs to mind in my creation... usually I grab a notepad, start with a name and jot down point form things (only child, best friend Steve, lazy right eye, balding, works at Sears in returns, wants to get laid before his 16th birthday) that sort of thing. I use some questions too, good idea that is

Joshua said...

My best brain connections with regard to story always seem to happen in the shower - so when I get a logjam I take a shower.

It's more troublesome when working on screenplays, in which I have to worry more about the mechanics of plot than in any other storytelling form - in plays and fiction it flows easier - the characters talk and I listen, kind of, mostly what I try to do is see and hear the characters and how they're dealing with whatever cool thing / torment they're going through - screenplays seem to be more about the hook / premise, but that's just me -

Moses said...

When I'm feeling stuck I'll often start back at the theme. What is this jumbled mess saying? What do I want it to say? What's the point? Basic stuff.

If my characters and/or plot stray to far from the theme(s) it often comes up in structural short comings, at least for me. I like the plot and characters to evolve but there's evolving and then there's sucks. So I usually revisit theme a lot.