Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The Strength of a Story
Because story is so important, it needs attention. It can start with a single idea, but then we need to build up the inspiration, develop the characters, discover the setting, decide on a pace. We need to ask ourselves, does my story have a punchy beginning? Have I given it a satisfying end?
On top of all that, a story will only stay strong if it doesn’t wander off the track without reason. In other words, no part of the piece should ever exist outside the story. In my latest WIP I wrote an amusing scene. It flowed beautifully, it made me laugh, but it had a fatal flaw. It didn’t add anything to the story. After much angst, I had to let the scene go.
It takes courage and practise to keep a story tight. This doesn’t mean it has to be simple, but it does have to have focus.
How do you develop story? Do you have the beginning and end in your head before you even start? Or is it a slow process involving much gnashing of teeth?