A Simple Way to Find the Beginning of Your Story

via Daily Prompt: Static

It is good to mix things up and not remain static.

Today my goal is to write this, proof it and post in 20 minutes. Go!

Dramatic writers have many conversations about the status quo. A play or screenplay is stasis, chaos, new stasis.

As a new writer, the idea of status quo was very difficult for me. My characters were extraordinary beings, how dare anyone suggest they have normal lives!

Writing for TV and needing to turn out storyline after storyline changed my thinking on this. Even the extraordinary has a static state. A sky diver’s status quo is jumping out of an airplane; for me, jumping out of an airplane would be a bolt of static electricity.

When starting a story it is important to know your characters’ normal, what’s their daily routine? Then ask what breaks that routine? What’s different about today? Why? Now? Today? That’s the beginning or your story. Although in some cases, it could be the end depending on how big a break it is.

Back to the skydiving, if the character were me, jumping out of the airplane would probably be the climax of the story with the rest of the story building to that moment. That freeing scene in the movie that has the crowd cheering and feeling proud of the character. You start to see how the story would be built to achieve this ending. Jumping  would be the thing that concretizes something else in the character’s life; taking back control, accepting mortality, breaking free of controlling relationships, being an authentic self.

There is also a story where jumping out of an airplane is starting gesture signaling a departure from the norm, but in this case the story is about the character’s loved ones dealing with a person who has broken out of the box. Which ones can handle it and which ones can’t?

Anyway that is my bit of writing advice today.

How did I do?

6 responses to “A Simple Way to Find the Beginning of Your Story”

  1. Write, proof, and post in 20 minutes? You did great! I set myself a goal of an hour for writing, proofing, and posting book reviews, and I’ve managed two of those so far this year. But 20 minutes is a whole new level of awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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