Hope everyone had an amazing weekend, but now it's back to the grind stone. There a new story in the works, and it's what prompted this post. I've been struggling trying to figure the layout of it out. So, the other day my mind wondered back to the past, sort of.
For years I was told turn my writing into a story. Everyone made it sound so simple. Lots told me all I had to do was sit down and write. Sounds simply right. Not so much, if you want it to be a story that grabs a reader from get go, and leaves them unable to put it down till they’ve read every word. Oh, and let’s not forget if you want them to read other stories of yours. Not so simple anymore.
Still you have to sit down and write. But, you’ve got take into account what makes a story. Plot, Setting, Characters, and Tension. Right? Not completely. Those are required and some writers view one of those as more important than the others. Who knows if they are right. All I know is that it takes those and much more to get a story that keeps a reader on their seat. (That’s from my reader perspective, not my writer side.)
Now be it, those are the four main areas, but hidden in among those areas are many more areas that has to be catered to. Ever read a story that was plain out unbelievable? I have and it didn’t intrigue me to read more by that author. Have you ever read a story that the tension seemed to stay at one level throughout the entire story? Not an interesting read. A story need escalation, until you’ve reached the climax and things begin to wind down.
Let’s not forget that their needs to a few stumbling blocks, even moment that no one expected or even considered. Other day, I was watching a television show, and ten or fifteen minutes into it, I knew what was coming. Kept my mouth shut, because dad was watching it, but when it came to the end of the show, I had to ask dad if he hadn’t seen that coming. He had and of course that sort of dialed down his enthusiasm to watch another episode. A story of any kind has to be somewhat unpredictable. Just like it needs a bit of continual build up to the climax.
There also has to be a unique style of writing, including voice and mood of the writer has to be evident, in some small manner. Most of these things come with time and loads of patients. It can take many and many different version of a story before you find one that gives you a well-rounded version that holds all these elements of a story. Not saying that it can’t happen on the first time, but it’s rare.
So I ask, what forms a story in your mind. Is it only the setting? The characters? The plot? Maybe it’s a mixture of each, and all those small subparts of each? Or do you pay any of that much attention when you sit down to read.
Myself when I pick up a book to read, I want my mind to vividly see, feel and hear what is taking place then read till it’s finished, not thinking about plot, setting, or any of what goes into preparing the book for enjoyment. If a story is well written, the reader doesn’t have to stop and think about all those things. They simply sit back, relax and escape into another world. This is what I strive to reach with each story I write. So to me that is what forms a book. All those others things are there. Shoot, they are the cause of it, but as a reader, I there to be entertained.
Everyone have a great week. Try to take some time to read a nice story. Or for my fellow writers write some amazing material.