Then, you must figure out your Theme.
This is very important, because if you don’t know what it is that you are asking, or what your story is really about, at its core, then it would be hard to cultivate your willingness to tell it, and for your readers to follow along. We write, because we have something to say, so what is your story really about??
O is for Original.
Make your story original. How so, you ask? Start by going IN and make it yours. Odds are it will be original, unique, authentic to you. Maybe it is with an Odd choice that would be the unpredictable one, maybe you’ll discover it by Observing your characters and letting them dictate their Own Originality unto the page. Explore the different ways in which your story can be Original. Usually, it is by not conforming to any obvious choices.
R is for Rules.
know the rules, study them well, study them thoroughly. This practice will pay off when you choose when to break them. Rules of structure, plot, conflicts, climax and so on, are a platform you can play in. Choose when to tap into the waters, and even more importantly - choose when to jump off a bit. This will help you in discovering your originality. Rules aren’t scary - they're fun! Seriously, tell yourself that 100 times until you believe it, it’s hard, I know….but will pay off. I see rules as a map in which I, the goddess of my creation, am completely allowed to veer off from time to time.
Y is my favorite. It’s for Yes.
Yes to start. Yes to choose a theme to tackle, Yes to originality in all its original forms, Yes to knowing the rules and when to break them, and YES to bring YOU to it. Whatever that means is up to YOU to explore.
In improv techniques, there is an exercise called ‘Yes, and’ - which is a great practice for writing.
Say YES, and see where it takes you….
Us humans are wired for storytelling.
We are constant narrators in our heads with stories like: ‘The world is against me!’ ‘I am not enough.' ‘I am better than the rest of those bozos.' ‘I am NOT good at relationships.’ ‘I am SO good at relationships.’ ‘Why is the guy honking at me??’ ‘Oh shit, I forgot this person’s name, how embarrassing.’ ‘What was HIS problem!?’ Okay, I can go on, but you get the point, right? If not - just take a minute to meditate and observe your thoughts - you’ll notice soon enough what a brilliant storyteller you are. And the coolest thing is you literally have to do nothing - those stories run freely in your mind all day long.
So, put some on the page and out of your head. Little by little. Day by day. Start with a word, then maybe a sentence, and before you know it, there will be a story there.
What will it be? It’s up to you, it is your S.T.O.R.Y:
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In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman