Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Making of a Story

Matt: 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Here’s the Long and Short of it:

You may want an outline if this is a novel, this will be the foundation of your story, a framework on which you are going to build a solid, cohesive tale. Without it, your story could crumble down around you midway through your first draft. Outlining first may make the difference between a powerful story with depth or a mediocre tale. Which will boil down to an accepted submission or a rejection.

An outline will force us to think through our story piece by piece. It shows us quickly and precisely: (1) the depth of our principal character's problem; (2) if our story sufficiently resolves that problem; and (3) whether our plot logically takes the character from his problem to the eventual resolution.

So start by jotting down the kind of conflict that concerns your main character. With this information in front of you, you're ready to begin your outline.

Using an outline to discover the character's innermost conflict can lead you to a very rich story. A shallow story about a loser who throws away his gifted life after one mishap may leave the reader with an empty experience.

Let's look at the outline:

Plot example:
a) josie finds God (spiritual guidance)
b) josie needs attention (inner struggle)
c) josie uses drugs and alcohol (the dark force)

Theme: Man against himself (or woman) in other words, the conflict
Problem: The affects of drug use
Resolution: Leaning on God to help
Conclusion: healing through diverse measures

Outlines don’t need be lengthy epistles, nor should they take long to complete. If you can't seem to finish your outline, this may be a sign that all is not well with your story idea. If you're stuck, ask yourself: does your character have a compelling enough problems around which to build a story? Does your resolution solve your character's problem? Do your plot developments logically take the character from his problem to his resolution? If not, can you come up with a series of events that do?

I hope I’m not confusing you with the term OUTLINE. The outline is like a short story (500-1500 words) basically giving us all kinds of tidbits into one crammed piece of work. This is your story in a nutshell.

You may choose to write a short story instead, using all of the elements identified here:

1. An opening conflict
2. Complication 1
3. Complication 2
4. Complication 3 (optional)
5. Complication 4 (optional)
6. Crisis
7. Falling action (optional) -this is where the crisis tries and resolves itself.
8. Resolution - this is where the crisis DOES get resolved.

Think outside the box and start being the creator of a masterpiece. Build your story like a pair of marble steps, then let the rain wash over your words and slide down and conclude your completed story!

Most of all, Write Right!

Rom. 1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

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