Conant Gardens Readers

{January 2, 2013}   Writing your story



So what do you write about? What stories do you come up with? How do your ideas emerge? What is your inspiration? Can you just write a story, poem or a prose? If you are the creative being as I am, then you already know that you have the intuition to develop your craft. You have read the stories of others and you have said to yourself, “If they can do it, well so can I”. You also have that dream particle already sparkling in your brain. Now get your pen, pencil, and paper ready. Put that dictionary and thesaurus in front of you, you are going to need it. Turn the computer on and load up Microsoft Word. Now brainstorm.

What’s brainstorming you say? Brainstorming is just jotting your ideas down and in no particular order or sequence. It’s just like mapping out the story; scenes, characters, storyline, plot, conflict, and situations; these ideas are quickly jotted on paper. Map out your story is not as easy as it sounds but it has to be done. When you map out a story, you put it in a sequence. I will illustrate more of the MAPPING process later. Back to brainstorming; it is like dreaming with your eyes open. Are you dreaming of the story you want to write? How does the dream begin? How does it end? What happens in the middle of the dream? In brainstorming, your story is not finalized. It’s only a draft. You are actually just throwing ideas on the paper. It becomes like a puzzle. You are settling the pieces on a table once they are out of the box; positioning them into place, unscrambling them, and slowing snapping the sequences of the story in the order that you want them to appear. Writers follow the yellow brick road of story writing. Then they move on!


Some people need some form of inspiration to write. Some need to be told what to write, since they don’t know themselves. Many novice writers will not write until they have a mental urge to write. Some writers will be waiting, trying to pace themselves, and wasting time while waiting. Don’t be like this. Look inside of yourself, it will come. Don’t think about it, just write.

Do you daydream? Where do your dreams take you? If so what about? I use to daydream a lot when I was young. These daydreams overwhelmed me. They took away my playtime. I would sit for hours and cast my mind beyond my neighborhood. I went to California with all sorts of characters. I rebuilt invisible lives, and made my characters travel to the ends of the earth and back again. Most of your dreams will spin from the mind’s eye. The part of the brain that sees what the dreamer sees, and sees with bursts of energy.

I took my daydreams from my mind’s eye and wrote short stories. In my books, my characters are real enough to envision them when they are in emotional turmoil, chaos, and periods of supreme joy, or even on an adventure. You have to be the first person to see your story in your mind’s eye from start to finish. You have to know what they look like, what happens to them, where they are, and how they get from place to place. You are the one who tells the reader what happens in the story. You put the dream in someone else’s head. You flash the images in front of the reader’s eyes. They must see this dream of yours come alive. Don’t just tell the story without being visual. The blind person may not see, but they know what fierce wind sounds like, what heat feels like, what sugar tastes like, how rough the pavement is, compared to the touch of grass. Don’t underestimate your reader’s ability to see the creativity of your craft, and only because it’s written in words. They have an imagination too!

 The readers  read only what you  have in store  for your characters, and yes, are interested in what happens to them. The hard part is how to keep your readers with you. If the story is good, you don’t have to worry about the reader’s interest. There are of course readers of all kinds. I write for young adults. I love involving teenagers in my stories, although I don’t care to involve them in situations they cannot get out of. I help them get out of turmoil and chaos. I put inspiration in their lives. How you depict your characters will be the life or death for your readers, and will kill the storyline of your book, therefore you must keep your readers always in awe.

I recently read the ‘Widow of the South’, by Robert Hicks, ‘Family’, by J. California Cooper, and ‘Kindred’ by Octavia Butler, and they told their stories that kept me in awe. I wanted to read more and more chapters each night. But that’s not my way of reading. I read a chapter or two, sometimes three a night. Then I STOP! I like to absorb the action in my mind gradually. If I finish the book in one night, then I can’t dream about the next chapter’s events. But that’s me. I like to soak up the chapters like a sponge. I review and re-play certain scenes and particular dialogues in my head until I get ready for the next couple of chapters.   

A good story is like a good pizza. Delicious and so full of flavor, that you want that same pizza repeatedly. Some stories are so overwhelming, that you desire to keep reading that particular genre. I don’t read much romance stories, science fiction, or thrillers. Those stories have a certain audience. The authors obviously tell a story to keep their audience wanting more. Nora Roberts is a fantastic writer as we all know. Her romance novels also have a marketable audience. But my audiences are those who like to see a child resolve their dilemmas with the help of another. My characters are often rescued by caring adults. The scenes in my stories are very visual. I like vivid descriptions. I like to visualize the scenes as I write. I like a serious, yet sometimes humorous dialogue. I like an emotional dialogue that sometimes transcends a tear down my cheek. Emotion is very important to a good writer.

Novice writers need to find mentoring authors. Authors who save them time and won’t spin them into confusion when they are trying to decide what genre to follow. My mentoring authors are Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Harriet Beecher-Stowe, Robert Hicks, Charles Johnson, Khalil Gibran, Margret Walker, Octavia Butler, J. California Cooper, and a few others. Whom do you read? What genre are they? I truly believe that these authors read the work of other authors prior to writing their craft. They have a huge knowledge base in their repertoire of stories. I have read various books in order to visualize  author’s ideas as if they are forming their ideas in front of me. My favorite authors taught me how to write. I have learned some of their techniques. You must learn the techniques of others as well. Follow by example at first, then use your own way of expressing yourself.

To finalize this step, MAP out your story. MAPPING is easy. MAPPING is different from brainstorming. You already got the idea for your story. You are no longer jotting down more ideas, you are MAPPING. Write down your characters and their names first. Then the setting. Where are these characters? Are they in a city or town, on a boat, in a house, or traveling somewhere? What is actually happening to the character? Action must be the the first  priority when writing a storyline. Are they in trouble, on an adventure, dying, being born in a certain era, or are they having issues with people, situations, or themselves. How do they resolve their conflicts? Would the reader agree with how the character fairs out? If the reader was in a similar situation, would the outcome be the same? Do the characters hold the reader’s attention enough for them to finish your book? This is a very important demand. There must be a flow or sequence of events that keeps the reader turning to the next page.

Shall I move on?


Reblogged this on Conant Gardens Readers and commented:

Write Your Story

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