When I first started writing, I had a naive perception. I thought I could simply sit down and write a story rolling around in my head. I knew the beginning and end. How hard could it be to fill in the middle?
Yes, in August of 2012 I did take a writing course at the Loft, but reality didn’t sink in until I met my writing coach, Alida. I had already written several hundred pages. Her editorial comments caused a light bulb to go off in my head. An epiphany: I needed to learn much more about the craft of writing before I had something decent to publish.
First, I had to create the story arc for each book in my trilogy. No easy task. Per Alida’s direction, I took a pile of 3 by 5 cards. At the top of each card, I wrote a main event for each chapter that would move my story forward through its arc. In the body of each card, I wrote a synopsis of the actions leading up to the main event listed at the top. This story boarding technique allowed ultimate flexibility. I could discard cards, rewrite them, change the order, and/or insert a new chapter.
As I began to write the first book, I discovered how the 3 by 5 cards stimulated my writing, but once in a while the unexpected happened. My story changed. Sometimes subtly while other times more drastically. Looking back I am amazed how much it evolved. The general premise remained, but details have not.
In my opinion, one of the joys of writing occurs when something unexpected pops into your mind. You don’t anticipate it. When it happens, you say to yourself, “Wow, where did that come from.” You hope it makes the story more interesting. Even if it gets edited out, you’ll remember how it made you shake your head and smile.
Finally, I have attached a little writing humor. I am an avid reader of the Sunday comics. Gary Trudeau’s Doonesbury had the following strip in the April 26th Minneapolis Star & Tribune. I have attached a link. Enjoy!!
Link (click or paste into your browser): COMICS on Page Z3 of Sunday, April 26, 2015 issue of Star Tribune