I remember when I was a kid I had a class in school where the teacher gave us a bunch of shapes organized into the shape of a man. Somehow inside this man we were to write the elements of a story; Beginning, Middle and End, Plot, Conflict and Characters, etc.
It got me thinking about how much of writing is intuitive and natural and how much of it can really be learned. It reminds me of the meme “How to Draw An Owl”.
I hear people all the time say they want to be writers or they have ideas for stories but they don’t have the discipline to actually do it. Everyone has ideas, actually that is not true, okay everyone has ideas they took from other places, we’re constantly bombarded with images and ideas every day. How strange it must have been for people in the old days to leave the house and NOT see an ad for a movie or television series. Yet even having the discipline to sit and write a book doesn’t necessary mean it’ll be any good.
I don’t use Story Maps, which I heard Hollywood love, nor do I do an outline or plot or graph chart or any other outside notes before starting a story. The beginning, middle and end are already worked out long in advance, the plot just sort of comes when it is time. The details, in other words, write themselves, the rest come from somewhere inside my damaged brain.
So the truth is if you don’t have a natural skill affinity for writing or art or anything you want to do but don’t know where to begin, chances are you are going to have to work twice as hard. Some paths are just naturally easier for some people, if you try to head down a path that nature didn’t prepare you for, you’re going to find it a lot harder.
It’s not impossible though. I did everything I could to avoid writing prose; I wrote everything else but I was not keen on writing a novel. Once I finally came around to it, it was easy as . . . well you choose the word, you’re the one who wants to be a writer. 🙂