I was with a friend this weekend who asked me what kinds of things I look for in creating a story.
“All kinds of things,” I responded. “It really just depends on what moves me at the time.”
We were at a park with a beautiful lake. It was warm, with a breeze that modulated from brisk to downright powerful. It carried the scent of cedar and fading oak upon it. It was the sort of breeze that blew away any sort of haze, replacing it instead with the crisp energy that can be found in the last vestiges of autumn. It was as if the fall was trying to let us know what a beautiful season it was, before finally succumbing to winter’s inevitable chill.
Now, bare in mind, I live in Los Angeles, so winter’s inevitable chill will drop us to, at the extreme, a wicked 40 to 50 degrees. Some in the country may scoff at that, saying that is not really cold. To which I say, “Feels pretty damn cold to me.”
Writing, in its purest form, is an encapsulation of our reality. We are affected by what we experience. As writers, we just put those experiences into our own unique perspectives. Always though, the stories breath with a measure of reality.
As we work to keep each individual character’s voice true, D.W. and I honor moments, those visceral, emotional, real moments with which the reader can identify. It is the emotional content that infuses every moment that makes a story great, because that emotional content drives the characters to react honestly.
That is what we want out of our stories, real beings influenced by events that make them react in real, relatable ways. It does not matter if the characters are sorcerers, warriors or even aliens with steely blue eyes and a big red “S” on their chests. We look for emotional integrity in what we read, and that is what I look for in what I write.
What kinds of things do you look for in a story? What about the characters moves you?
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