Sunday, August 15, 2010
Part 1: The Birth of a Story Inception
Outlines work fine, if you already know the story. Which is precisely why they don't work for me; I approach my writing from the other end, preferring to create the story from the inside out. Writing those initial draft(s) to find out what the story's about is like walking when you're pregnant - it helps with the delivery. This fact I can attest to, having given birth 3 times.
In it's inception the story has the potential to go in any direction it chooses on the unwritten slate of my subconscious womb. Writing out everything initially coming to mind is part of the pairing process. This is where the DNA from my subconscious and the physical production of something concrete begins. The story begins to take form as I learn more about the characters and who they are. Their wants, desires and flaws emerge along with it's heartbeat; the core around which the story revolves, the problem, the stakes and the solution, allow for the pruning of earlier ideas and irrelevant details to begin. And this cell death results in the separation of fingers, toes and the formation of organs into distinct functioning parts.
It's at this point the outline starts to appear along with it's various layers, themes and story threads. Finally giving birth to a healthy piece of writing to be revised and polished - raised if you like.
About the photos: A sail boat in the straight between Vancouver and Vancouver Island taken from the ferry (top). My eldest son watching over the rail (bottom). Pictures taken in 2005.