Monday, March 27, 2017

Hailey's Novel Diary – 3/27/17

Before I even face the blank page, I like to know what the story's about. I'm not Jack Kerouac. I can't just start typing random words and something comes out in the end. I want to know that I'm dealing with a complete story.

A woman walks into a grocery store and something happens.

That's not a story. You could easily get into a chapter or two and then get stuck.

A woman walks into a grocery store and finds a time portal in the wine aisle. She travels back in time, fixes the biggest mistakes of her life and becomes happy and successful. On a visit to her old home town, she stops into the local grocery store where she meets her former self, causing the universe to tear apart.

That could be a story. It doesn't sound like something I'd write, but a science fiction writer could probably work with that.

Before I start typing, I want to know where the story goes and what happens. Does it have an ending and, more importantly, does it have a middle? Why does that thing happen? What were those people thinking? When she says this does it mean that? I won't start until I can answer a few basic questions. I've written myself into corners before. It's annoying.

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