|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
THE MUSE CAT IS OUT FOR THE COUNT!
I'm going to keep this concise tonight. In an unusual bit of perversity, Mama Nature has turned the Southern California coast into something a lot more like the Caribbean at this time of year. Mid-nineties temps on the coast with the kind of humidity that has sent the studio cat into a prolonged coma. Ah, that I could join her.
Anyway, the last few days on this blog have been something of a marathon of things to do BEFORE you write your story. Whether you're producing short fiction, novella, or novel, no matter what the genre, these are things I have found to be essential parts of the process. Will you? Maybe, and maybe not, but nothing about writing is etched in stone. Give what you've seen a fair read, think about what benefit your work might derive from these procedures, then adapt and use those parts that really make sense to you. We're all different, with idiosyncratic approaches to our work - no one thing will fit every style and habit - but something will work for most if it is tweaked correctly.
Now is almost the moment to let the horses run. You've done all this building of lists, answered more questions than you care to remember, and drawn pretty pictures as if you were illustrating some technical manual. There's one key thing left before you can finally start out to do what you came here for...WRITE YOUR STORY.
What you need to do is very simple. All you have to do is write a one paragraph summation, or synopsis, of the story you want to pen. Briefly jot down the character and setting. Describe the all important conflict and what it is the MC does to overcome it. Last, tell us what, if anything, about the MC is changed when we reach the resolution and the crisis is overcome. Okay, I fibbed, it's probably not going to be as painless as it sounds.
Once you've pulled this off, distill that paragraph into ONE sentence. When you can do that you will have a clear picture of what your story is. At this point, switch to the White Abyss of the new page on your monitor and begin to tell your story. You have taken a lot of the heavy lifting out of the activity and left yourself a wonderful, clear field on which to erect a really impressive edifice. So go on, amaze the hell out of us!
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis