Sunday, January 26, 2014
Filling in the Rest
I hope that your holidays were wonderful and filled with family joy and fun. Now with that out of the way, let's discuss your writing.
Pick up your laptop, pen, paper, blood in the inkwell, whatever it is that you will use to create your masterpiece and let's begin.
I am going to skip ahead a bit, because however you have outlined your story is up to you. Personally, I just go with it. (Which is probably a bad idea.) Anyway, as a writer you have a general idea of where you want your story to go. Along the way there are twists and turns that you must address and if you are like me, it is hard to lay out the characters and the initial plots without getting too excited. So, in an effort to slow myself down and create a richer story, I am using a layering process.
Start with what you know
In the beginning, the foundation of the character and their plight is vital. Starting off strong, grabbing the reader and holding their attention is the key. Characters need clear paths and obstacles that make them desirable and bring the reader to either love or hate them.
Once your writing is off to a start and your stopping point is near, take a break. Come back to the piece and start with the beginning and add a second layer. To most, this is called "fleshing out" the story. For me, it is a vital piece in bringing forth a rich story and character.
Your initial components are usually the thoughts that fly off the top of your head. Good groundwork, but you need to go back in and fill in more details. Little quirks about your character are always good. A nervous twitch, a blink, or a smirk can breathe life into a character and make them more pleasing. Also, adding more to their struggle and background helps to lengthen the tale as well.
This process of layering can be done as many times as you feel necessary. The trick here would be to continue to hold your audience. You don't want to drag this on to a point where the story gets heavy and you lose your reader. Remember there will be plenty more to layer with each section that is written so try to over focus on just one piece. One could set a limit to the number of times you rework the writing, say two to three. This should give you a clear stopping point so that you don't overdo it.