What’s the quickest way to get into a new story?
Some writers have neither the temperament nor the inclination to spend months gathering information about their projects, clarifying minute details about their characters’ likes and dislikes. These are the pantsers of the writing world—their writing flows better when they write from the seat of their pants.
Yet, even they, I would argue, need to address five essential points prior to commencing their stories in order to avoid stalling later on.
“A blank slate may cause writer’s block in the pantser, interrupting the writing for weeks, months or even years. This can be avoided by understanding the basic connections—statements reduced to single sentences—that arise between the hero, plot and theme, in a new story.”
Jot down the answers to the following questions and keep them close at hand while writing of your story:
- Describe the story in one or two sentences. The description should include a beginning, middle and end.
- Explain why the hero is compelled to try and attain the goal.
- Note the secret the hero is hiding from everyone, perhaps even himself. How is this secret related to the hero’s flaw or wound?
- Show how the discovery/admission of his secret realigns his goal, turning his want into his need.
- State the theme of the story.
These five questions are enough to give any pantser a great start and keep him from going astray when the light dims, the muse gets Covid 19, and the rocks loom up ahead.
Prepare for the writing of a new story by carefully considering five essential questions about your tale.