So where did we leave things last time? Yes, we were in the throes of brainstorming. Indeed, fleshing out an idea can sometimes feel like a chaotic event in our head, and it’s all about re-establishing order.
There are many ways one can accomplish this, as I mentioned in my last post, please refer to it if you haven’t read it to understand the initial steps in creating your first masterpiece. https://mouthfulofwords.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/you-want-to-write-a-script/
So after the storm comes the calm. One can use “The Wizard of Oz” as a great analogy for all of life really, but in this context after the tornado hits, Dorothy must find her way back home, the same goes for you. After writing page after page of sequential and non-sequential ideas for a story and most of everything has been put to paper now you need to find your way back to order. You will encounter a scarecrow, a tin man, a lion, and a wicked witch, in the shape of bumps, ideas, setbacks, cringe-worthy snags, but you must trudge through.
What I am saying here is you need to RE-READ everything and find some type order. Try and think in terms of beginning, middle and ending. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to have a certain flow.
How do you see it start?
Is there conflict in there or is that main character just flowing through life?
Once you have identified your main character’s problem do you see potential for a middle part? Does your character have more problems to solve before he can be fully happy again, or fully sad?
Can you see how it ends, and what bits you need to add or delete to get to that satisfying resolution?
If you can answer these questions then you are on your way to some order.
Once you have some type of outline, now comes the fun part: Research.
Of course your characters will develop as you write, but you need some kind of foundation. A little trick I picked up along the way was to read different horoscope personality traits. It’s a good way to give me bold character traits, the fine tuning takes time and practice.
Also, what kind of world do your characters live in? Is it a period piece, in the future, post-apocalyptic or are you totally re-inventing time and space? If so, all these need some kind of research to give the reader some form of reference. In the book “The Martian” which was so well written by Andy Weir, has so much technology detail and description, the amount of research that guy did is astounding. In other words, you will always need to study up on your material even if you are creating a new world from scratch. You will want to reference pictures perhaps to give you a sense of what it could look like, I’ve even drawn maps out to give my writing and characters a sense of direction and I’ve even researched ancient battles to give my futuristic battles a sense of realism. Unfortunately most research ends up on the cutting room floor, but you need to have it to give your writing that 3-dimension, it’s essential.
Sometimes this research happens as you go along, but often once you know where you’re heading there is a need to pile on the knowledge from which to draw from.
Step 1: Brainstorm and put on paper.
Step 2: Start building an outline, or give yourself a sense of direction, which can sometimes happen through research.
Step 3: Research. Research your main characters and their traits and the world they live in.
Stay tuned for the next exciting take on conflict!!! You can’t have a book or a film without it. So easy and yet the hardest thing to develop.