Creating a Story

My approach to creating a story is to know where I am going, my objective, my end point. Then I find a way to begin the story. Next, I formulate major turning points between the beginning and ending, using various story structures.

I sit in the dark and talk to myself, telling myself the story. If I fall asleep, the next day I restart the process with a different story. If I feel enthusiastic, finding myself talking about the story into the wee hours of the morning, I charge ahead into the next phase: writing.

My writing process involves mind maps, outlines, charts, graphs, spreadsheets, maps, diagrams, little toys I use to role play, etc. Once my journey is planned, I begin the exhilarating part of the process: exploration as I write the story.

As I write, I fill in the details. As the story comes to life, I am often surprised by revelations, twists, and a deeper understanding about the nature of my story, its world, and its characters. This part of the process creates endorphins that make it addictive — I constantly seek the rush that comes with sudden insight.

I repeatedly tell the story, writing draft after draft, with each pass enlightening me with more detail and depth. When I reach the point where I feel the complete story is told, I begin revising.

I never go back in the middle of the drafting process to rewrite anything. I insert notes into the places affected by new knowledge and I maintain a notes document of my inspirations so I can apply them in the next iteration.

This is my method. My method of storytelling may not be a viable method. I often think of comments made by Terry Brooks where he describes his method as: think about the story, write the story, revise the story, done. He admits that sometimes he makes new discoveries as he writes that require a little rework, but not often. I may never create stories as quickly, or as well, as Mr. Brooks, but I strive to come close.

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