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The Stories We Tell

I’ve been thinking a lot about storytelling. I think it is because my novel hit a wall and I realized I have to rethink the story. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’ve been trying different versions to see what works. So far I haven’t found anything I like.

I have other short stories that I’ve started and not finished. I could work on them too. Like I said before, one of my goals is to write 6 new short stories this year (along with a novel). So far I’ve finished one. We’re into the fourth month of the year, so I need to get going. I don’t want to wake up and it’s November and I haven’t done anything.

Watching TV sometimes help. As some critics have said, we are in a golden age of TV. (Anyone else ready for the final season of Game of Thrones?) There are so many shows on TV and different ways of telling a story. Last night was the season premiere of Killing Eve and I love the storytelling on that show. It unfolds with these unbelievable circumstances, but their actions are completely in tune with each character. I just love it. My guilty pleasure.Also I find more plot driven shows, help me see a beginning, middle and end. Seeing how the writers lead the viewers on an arch is becoming helpful.

I’ve also been rereading myths. Why do some people become heroes and others become villains? What makes them good? Why does the audience care about them?

These are all the questions I’ve been exploring to help me write. My main character in my novel has conflict, but I’m not sure why she is doing what she is doing. I don’t understand her motivation. I guess I don’t know her well enough. You’d think after years, I would know more. Just goes to show that characters are always changing and surprising you.

One thing is for sure. The more I think about this in my writing, the better my writing is going to get. I’m not much of a spontaneous writer. I always leave some room for surprise, but I don’t like to just write and see where it goes. Nope. Not that kind of writer. I like to know my stories well. I’ll memorize the passages and live in the character’s heads for a while. Then I can write the story, their story, the way it should be.