In creating a story, there are no rules. But there are some basic principles that may help guide the writer to completion of a first draft.
- When we stay out of the result, we move in the direction of our story.
- Story involves a transformation. There can be no transformation without a surrender.
- Our “idea” of our story is never the whole story. It’s not that our idea is incorrect, but that it is incomplete.
- When we hold our idea loosely, new opportunities reveal themselves.
- By trying to “get it right” we tend to get stuck.
- By surprising ourselves, we are led to a coherent narrative.
- When we try to “figure it out,” we tend to kill the aliveness of our characters.
- When we explore the “nature” of a moment or scene in our story, we connect to what makes it universally relatable.
- By exploring the opposite direction of where we believe our story ought to move, we are led to a more dynamic and clearer version of our story.
- When we see our characters as functions of a dramatic question rather than “real people” they tend to become more like real people.
- Story is infinitely malleable. As long as we stay connected to our source, that ineffable impulse that got us started, the order of events may alter, characters might be conflated, scenes added or deleted, but the essential story will not be lost.
- Through the process of story creation we cannot make a mistake. Everything we write either belongs or is leading is to what belongs in our story.
Please share with me your thoughts on this.