What a cool date. Probably couldn’t find a better date to pick things up again as the 1/1/11. I have one New Year’s resolution and that is to practise my writing on a regular basis. If you think about it, write a page a day, and by the end of the year, you will have a full length novel.
Of course, stream-of-consciousness may have worked for James Joyce, but for most others, it tends to be boring gibberish. Humans, it seems, like stories. So much so, it is almost innate. In fact, narrative seems to be a way we make sense of our world – we are hard-wired to turn our lives into stories.
Perhaps, it is a way for us to keep track of the random events that make up life. Much as we wish it otherwise, life tends not to run to a tidy three acts. It runs in fits and starts, long slow periods or times of intense activity. Events don’t always resolve themselves tidily in a conclusion, but people’s lives are interesting. And there is one thing we all seem to want to know – no matter how small the story – what happened in the end?
That need for resolution is what draws us forward into a tale – who did she pick? Did they find the treasure? What was the answer? The Da Vinci Code isn’t the best-written book in the world, but the lure of the mystery keeps the reader turning pages. The downfall of the book is the weakness of the ending (in my opinion) because the answer did not live up to the build-up.
Most people can learn to write a decent sentence, but to be a good story-teller is a gift indeed. It is the book that when you reach the end, you put if down with a contented sigh, or even have a cry but with a feeling of completion and the desire to read it all over again.
But the best advice for writing any story, is that it needs a beginning, a middle and an end. So this is a beginning…