Talking Before Writing
Now that you know what your options are regarding the style or theme that you can use, it comes time to pick one and write. Some people just have a hard time sitting down to write, but they can they tell a great story! If this is you, then record yourself telling the story, then transcribe it, then make edits and fill out the story.
Tell your story to your recording device (there are free apps for your smart phone). Then listen to your recording and write it all down. Once you have this, then you can decide whether it is good the way it is, or if you want to flesh it out a little more.
The best way to flesh out a simple story are to expand Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
- WHO: Expand the “who” of your story. Is he single, married, widowed, etc.? Who is with him—other family members, friends?
- WHAT: is happening in your story? Is this normal for the times, or not? What are the circumstances that lead to this event? Give some context.
- WHEN: give the date(s) and what it was like then—the weather, the economy, the world events, etc.
- WHERE: the place of the story and what it was like back then. Stone buildings or sod houses? Did they own the land or rent? Fill out what you know about where the story is taking place.
- WHY: Why are they doing what they are doing? Fill out what you know about customs and how this fits into the norm of that place and time.
- HOW: have they gotten to this place in their lives? Is it a nature progression of the way people lived, or is it a freak circumstance that is at play?
Events need to be explained because how we experience them now, and how they were experienced then are two different things. So your writing needs the surrounding details to give the story context within the life of that person.