Thinking About Fiction

There’s a story in there, somewhere. We all have ideas, quips, and vignettes stored so that we have something fun to say at the next party we attend. These aren’t just news stories about which you can argue the facts presented by the media. These are stories of our experiences.

When there is time to sit and write these stories, the brain gremlins come out to play. The words are gone. Or just not interesting. The story is just that, a flat story.

Mary and I went to the mall last week. There was this really crazy outfit in the window of the first clothing store we passed and Mary, well you know Mary! She just had to try it on. I have no idea why. But she did. Well, we laughed so hard she wet her pants! Right there, in the dressing room!

Uh-huh. And why does the reader care? Poor Mary; poor you. You had to have been mortified.

Yes, the story works at a party. People know Mary and they know you. They can laugh and add their own memories of crazier things that have happened. But, where is that fiction story again?

It’s the little episodes in life that blow up into great oral tales. The work of putting a string of those vignettes together to create a character is another story all together. No pun intended. It is hard work.

Oh, and before you begin writing that story, remember your reader wants a plot. Not a series of stories.