It is your business to write what other people think but don’t say. Go for the throat.
Start with anything that bothers you – be honest, be angry.
Remember how people react to a car accident. Highways choke up as drivers slow down to gawk. It comes as no surprise that news programmes concentrate on bad news first. That’s what interests readers.
Good stories question the status quo. In Romeo and Juliet two teenagers question the status quo of their two families at war.
Write a page of interior monologue.
Write a page of short sentences, each sentence no longer than seven words.
Write a sentence three hundred words long.
The journal is mostly a means to free yourself of the misguided belief that writing should be Important and For a Lofty Purpose, and to remind yourself that writing is something that’s always worth doing. It supplements and stimulates other writing. Never stop keeping one even when you are weighed under with other work.
We are haunted by our childhoods, by the important things we lost on the long walk to adulthood: the intensity of love and fear, the talismanic rituals and objects of affection, and the moments of certain comprehension of our place in the scheme of things.
What your character thinks is shown in everything she says. She may be proving or disproving some particular point or enunciating some universal proposition. All these comments reveal her personality. This also reveals her moral purpose. There are things she wants to talk about or things she wishes to avoid.
Don’t confuse the reader by having your character talk about something of absolutely no relevance to the story. Everything said must be relevant, revealing character’s motivation, experience and attitude.
Story is built from your characters’ goals and ambitions changed by circumstance and connected by one unifying theme.
Pay attention to what you feel after you read. What did you learn? How did you feel?
Record the images and phrases that stick with you as you read books and newspapers or watch the world. Notice how you feel and record these sensations accurately.
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