Conant Gardens Readers











{January 24, 2011}   Drama begats Drama

 

 DRAMA BEGATS DRAMA

People have told me several times that they wanted to WRITE a book. So I asked them, “What kind of book and what is it about? Will it be fiction or nonfiction?” Those who wanted to WRITE a book told me that they had no idea what their BOOK will be about. They just knew that they wanted to WRITE one. I shook my head in disappointment.

Those who really want to WRITE a book, have their roots already grounded like a tree. In fact they knew, they wanted to WRITE something long before they actually committed themselves to the task. Likewise, I knew that I wanted to WRITE short stories and prose. I also instinctively knew that I wanted to WRITE a fiction NOVEL. If you really want to WRITE a book, you will make every attempt to do so. You will not waste any more of your time. You have no time to waste. If you are a writer, then you will WRITE! Go ahead and get the necessary skills together and take that infamous WRITER’S leap. As I WRITE fiction, I daydream CONSTANTLY on how my story is supposed to flow. I dream about who will be the protagonist, and who is the antagonist. I also dream about what could possibly happen in each chapter. Yes I DREAM about my CRAFT. You should too.

By the way, that dream is your casting call. Your nose is twitching, and your ears are ringing. Your soul has a little person on your shoulder saying, “DO IT NOW, WRITE YOUR STORY!” Don’t listen to the evil twin on the other shoulder, telling you that it’s no use for you to write, you are no good, and nobody will like your stuff. I heard that little devil say that stuff to me, and for a while, I put my work in a trunk somewhere in my house. When I heard the good twin stalk my mind and continually say, when are you going to finish your manuscript? I shook my head and sighed deeply. That good twin entered my dreams, woke me up, and harassed me until I angrily went to the trunk, grabbed my work, and finally after six months, I had a finished manuscript. All I could say was “thank God for the good twin.”

I love dramatic stories. ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice walker, was a dramatic novel as well as a movie. I was going through the emotions as I read the book, but when the movie came out, those emotions were really attacking my inner soul. That’s what good WRITING is all about. If WRITERS can capture the souls of their readers, and make them happy, sad, angry, weep, or even bewildered by the story’s end, then that’s a WRITER!

 When I wrote the scene in my book about the character ‘Brownlow’ ripping the only dress she had and crying to the Angels to alleviate her pain, I cried! I was the WRITER and the first reader. A dramatic scene is just that, DRAMATIC. If the character John Coffe, in Stephen King’s ‘The Green Mile’, didn’t reveal the emotional flashbacks, describing another character’s previous events, which also put him on the green mile with John Coffe, I would have threw the book in the trash. Even Stephen King knew that his readers must feel John Coffe’s emotional turmoil as revealed in this story. We needed to know why the DRAMATIC remembrances were so sensitive to the main character. Not revealing the dramatic scene, teases the reader and make them tell others that the book is lame, because the WRITER has left something out.

When WRITING a DRAMATIC novel, you have to trap your reader as if they are in a bear trap and send a wolf slowly crouching towards them. The fear alone is DRAMATIC. Just when that wolf is about to pounce on them, you need to have an unforeseen shot rang out and strike the wolf, maiming him. That which releases the reader is called a DRAMATIC release. Yes, you have to release the reader from the DRAMA. Keeping the reader prisoner in a DRAMATIC part of your book, not only angers the reader, but also tires them out before they can get to the end of the story. Don’t do that. Keeping your readers at bay is ok for a brief moment, yet you must release them if you want them coming back to your library of stories. They will come back if you alleviate the character’s distress and inadvertently calming your reader’s emotional distress at the same time.

Step-5- THE STORYLINE

 

My nephew called my cell phone and told me he had a story he wanted to write. I asked him what was the storyline, and he could not tell me. He just said it was about vampires. Well that got my attention. I told him to follow my lead and write his story according to how I write mine, and then modify it as he got the basics.

So, you my fellow reader, follow my lead. How about reviewing one of my short stories. We will re-write a similar short story together. A novice WRITER should start with a SHORT STORY first. WRITERS must show growth, so it is okay to WRITE a teaser for your readers, and that’s a short story.

Ready?

The title of my story is, ‘My Grandma Dreams’. Now write your title. You don’t have one. Then don’t worry about it now. That will develop itself on its own. If you worry about the title now, then you forget your purpose, which is to focus on the story itself. Worry about the title later.

One of my stories involves an old woman going through the middle stages of Alzheimer’s. She constantly dreams of the past. Bria, her granddaughter coaxes her grandmother in telling her how her twin siblings were kidnapped. They were four at the time. As Bria and her Grandmother return to their native city of Carver, Illinois, Bria helps solve the sixty-year-old missing person case.

I like the storyline. It pleases me, and it’s supposed to. If it doesn’t please your audience, will you stop writing altogether or will you write just for your audience? For God sake, don’t waste your time on pleasing your audience. You have to WRITE for YOURSELF first. If the storyline is good, your audience will enjoy it too. Be CREATIVE. Think of a story that is unique, unusual, and puts a character in a situation that is not the norm. Make it your story. Don’t take someone else’s idea because you don’t have one. You are a WRITER, your ideas will come, just let them inside your mind’s eye willingly.

Take your time. Your story will come to you naturally. It should if you are a WRITER. You already have the WRITER’S CRAFT if you are reading this book. You have ideas; just them flow, and don’t try to force them out. Dream of your story and let your imagination rain down in droves. WRITE out what as many ideas as you can to describe what you want your story to be about. Be ARTISTIC like Picasso or Michelangelo. WRITING is also considered an art form, a CRAFT, so you are from here on, called an ARTIST. You don’t have any more time in your life to doubt yourself or your abilities. That’s why you reading this book, remember?

In the short story I’m writing, the main characters are Bria and her grandmother. Who are your main characters? My setting is in Davenport, Kentucky and in Carver, Illinois. Where do you place your characters? How are you describing your setting? Use as much detail as you can.       

Start your story with a bang. Write something unexpected. You have to hook the reader into your story. You have to keep the reader’s interest. Have the awe effect ready. If your characters and locations are fictional, then make them believable. Make your characters feel and act like you or people you know. Make the storyline interesting and different.

Don’t over-criticize your characters or put them in a situation that will receive adverse opinions from your readers. If you attack your audience, you will also lose them at the same time. The WRITER’S CRAFT should not be written in retaliation of your actual living situation. Don’t make your writing too personal. It’s not your reader’s fault, why you are where you are, or, why you are in the situation you’re in. Just write a good story. WRITE for yourself first, your readers will like it if it is worthy of their time.

Use your own speech pattern or tone, or create one. If it is a foreign tone, make sure your reader will pick that up. Use a particular tone, dialect, or common usage of words to give the reader an indication as to where you are and in what timeline you are focusing on.

The climax or plot of your story will enter the story without you really focusing on it. The WRITER’S CRAFT is placed on the storyline. Most CREATIVE WRITERS have the natural ability to tell a story without a lot of effort. If you have something to say, your WRITER’S CRAFT will say it. Don’t get frustrated on that which comes naturally to a WRITER.

The ending should be like the beginning. It should be purely unexpected. If the ending is emotional, make sure it is a positive emotion. You want your readers to be happy with you. Don’t take your readers to a funeral without some positive reinforcement. If you, the WRITER, are thrilled about the storyline, so will your readers. Just don’t lose FOCUS.

Have fun writing a good storyline. Remember the WRITER’S CRAFT is just that; the ability to CRAFT a good tale, first for yourself and then for your readers. Have fun putting your characters in a situation, you may not find yourself in. Have fun surprising your readers by going somewhere unexpected. Have fun developing your STORYLINE. Just have fun WRITERS! The WRITER’S CRAFT is and will always be fun and entertaining. Now WRITE a sample story and have fun doing it!

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