A funny thing has happened to me over the past couple of years. I’ve always loved writing, but could never really understand what exactly it was about it that made me tick. I now understand it. It’s storytelling. Pretty straightforward and simple answer that should be pretty obvious, but hey, sometimes these things take a while to get through my skull.
What came of that knowledge is a love for all story telling, books, movies, TV, any and all forms that tell a great story, and a need to understand how.
How did they make that so compelling that I forgot to critique and just sat back and enjoyed.
This takes up 80% of Drunk writer talk, Molly, Maureen and I discussing our favourite books/TV/movies and trying to understand what made them great. And what made things not work, because sometimes more light bulbs go off when you figure out where the storyteller went wrong.
Something I’m sure a lot of writers do on a regular basis. You learn to see your own work in a critical light, but others as well, and I can’t shut down that internal editor.
But the great things about these discussions, is that as many times as we agree, we also disagree. Again, nothing earth shattering here, either.
What I’ve figured out, is what I like best in storytelling. The elements that make me excited. Bringing this back to what my fellow drunk writers have blogged about this week. There is so much advice out there, and a lot of it good, and a lot based on what others love in story telling. Hell, we’ve given enough out on this blog.
But the crux is, I didn’t really learn what works best for me, until I sat down and really analyzed what I loved about the books, moves and TV shows that enthralled me. Me. This is really personal to each writer. Knowing what I loved, I could apply it to my work, even if it went against the general rules of writing we hear so much about.
In many ways, this is how I’ve found my voice, and will hopefully create stories that are unique to me.
So when trying to figure out what beginnings work best for me, or what character arcs, or plot developments, pacing, prose, I read the books I loved and pulled out all the common elements and came up with a blueprint that was remarkably similar to the kind of book I wanted to write.
There’s a big difference between wanting to write a certain type of book and actually managing to write it, but I have something to work towards. I also know I couldn’t have figured this out if I hadn’t at least a couple of books under my belt, but again, some people catch on much faster.
But it helped a lot, and it was kind of fun to do.