Fiction

What Is Fiction?

Actually I am going to save that question for another post entitled ‘What Is Fiction‘. If you’re just chomping at the bit to start learning about the technical aspects of fiction writing and that alone, then go to ‘What Is Fiction’ to get started. I would love it if you would read all of my posts completely, but I do not kid myself into thinking that my style of writing a post is to everyone’s liking. So if I tend to bore you with my ramblings, please look for those links in my post that are going to take you to the information you are here to find. If you can’t find something that you are looking for here on my website, please let me know in a comment or send a note to my email bmhreply@gmail.com

So, if you are sticking with me for awhile:

I’d first like to share with you some personal experiences of trying to get started writing that greatest American novel and begin with:

This Seems Like A Good Idea Approach

(1) You Select An Idea You Want To Write About
(2) You Jot Down Some Ideas About Characters, Places, Story On Pieces of Paper
(3) You Start Taking Each of The Ideas Above and Jot Down More Ideas About Each
(4) You Have Some Good and Exciting Ideas All Of Which You Want To Put In Your Story

And what is this followed by..

YOU CAN’T DECIDE ON WHAT IS GOING TO BIND ALL THESE IDEAS TOGETHER INTO AN ENTERTAINING STORY !

You like your ideas, all of your ideas… but you can’t seem to get them to all work together. Getting your thoughts together to make a story is like herding cats. You just can’t seem to make it work.

Let me ask you something for you to ponder, have you ever wondered where those ideas that you write down to create your stories have come from?

Though what we see with our eyes or hear with our ears influences what become our ideas, that is only part of the process. It is our life experiences that are ultimately the source of the things that come out of our imaginations. Our imaginations, just like children at play, takes our emotional life experiences, combines them with the ideas that we get from reading and watching T.V. and listening to stories, and makes these life experiences into new stories that helps us to integrate our emotions into new models that we then use to go out and relate to the world(s) that we are exposed to.

I’m going to give you a challenge:

  1. Right now, stop everything, write down the thought that is in your head right now.
  2. Try to isolate and identify the feelings that come with that thought:  fear, pompousness, fragility, anger, excitement, fear of excitement.
  3. Try to connect a person to the origin of the feeling and thought.
  4. Try to identify the event that person was involved in that created that though that led to that feeling.
  5. Identify how  that feeling is trying to express itself. ie. hurting another person or myself, depression, generosity, confidence, risk taking.
  6. Struggle with whatever it takes to become comfortable with that feeling. And when you have resolved that struggle:
  7. Voila – You have a story.

If you look at everything that happens to you as a story and start writing those happening down in your PC or a notebook, you have the makings of a thousand stories and perhaps even a blog.

What Has Enabled Me To Start Writing

Within my blog you are going to see me talking a lot about what has gone into enabling me to start writing good content to share with you. And the number one reason I can create anything of any interest is because I see everything that I write as a story, because after all, no matter what you write, fiction, non-fiction, you are writing stories. Even those technical manuals and business reports are telling stories about how something works or what happened to the business that day and who made it happen. How many children’s animation movies are about automobiles or computers that come to life and save the day with a good dose of ‘how-it-works’ thrown in for authenticity. All are stories.

Most people fail at writing, I think, because they don’t put themselves into the story they are writing. It is important that the author have a vested interest in what happens to all the characters in his story or it won’t feel real. I’m not suggesting that writers take a course in how to be schizophrenic, but that they have the ability to empathize and identify with many different kinds of people. It is a true exercise in compassion. I would guess if people read more quality stories with an eye to understanding the author’s purpose in putting that character in the story, there would be a greater understanding of why human beings do the things they do, good or bad. All the stories that are told in the psychiatrists office or in the jails come down to basically the same general form. I get hurt, so I hurt others. Stories can teach us how to stop the endless chain of hurt.

READ, READ, READ

All the best universities have rigorous reading curriculums. Students have to read 4 or 5 perhaps as many as 10 or more books per semester or quarter for their English lit classes. Even good engineering classes ask their students to read about engineering or mechanics in some form other than a textbook perhaps a biography about a certain scientist or engineer they are studying about in order to understand how their story brought them to create what they did. As I said it isn’t easy to put yourself into the heart and soul of many different people, but it is the only way to write. So, really, the first task of a writer is to read, read, read. Newspapers (lots of stories there), short stories, novels, the bible (great timeless stories about love and hate, revenge, and redemption there). After all, no matter how hard we try to meet all the interesting people that are alive today, the only way to really meet as many people as can to make ourselves compassionate, empathetic and understanding writers is to read about them.

I think everyone should journal about their life experiences as often as they can and then just once in their lives try to write a simple story around one of those life experiences. It is very rewarding.

If you didn’t do it earlier try doing this exercise now:

  1. Right now, stop everything, write down the thought that is in your head right now.
  2. Try to isolate and identify the feelings that come with that thought:  fear, pompousness, fragility, anger, excitement, fear of excitement.
  3. Try to connect a person to the origin of the feeling and thought.
  4. Try to identify the event that person was involved in that created that though that led to that feeling.
  5. Identify how  that feeling is trying to express itself. ie. hurting another person or myself, depression, generosity, confidence, risk taking.
  6. Struggle with whatever it takes to become comfortable with that feeling. And when you have resolved that struggle:
  7. Voila – You have a story.

 

This Has Been An Attempt To Get You Excited About Writing

I have tried many different ways to get organized enough to write creative fiction, because let’s face it non-fiction almost writes itself, but fiction is the creation of a whole new world of experience and adventure. I say adventure because even if the characters go no further than one town throughout the story, I would hope they would go into the world within themselves, their hearts, minds, souls and explore places there that they have never been to and explore, play with and enjoy all that you find there. That is just as much of an adventure as traveling to other parts of the planet or even universe.

I hope to be able to share with you some of those things that have helped me to settle down and start writing.

To the writing journey and settling down.

Wake The World With Your Words