So, here's the thing! Do you remember what's his name - Max Bygraves? His catchphrase was, "I wanna tell you a story". Oh! Before I forget, I've got a new story out: A Lamb to the Slaughter (Parish & Richards 11), and for those who are still interested after the long and tortuous journey - the truth is out about Parish's beginnings.
I was at a family get together the other night, and I was asked, "How do you do it?" I asked the lady in question to elaborate before I made a fool of myself. "How do you write all these stories?" she said. "Where do you get your ideas from?"
They're good questions, aren't they? At the time, I merely said that, "I just start writing and the stories tumble out," which is true, but the questions got me thinking - well it does, doesn't it? They say that there's a book in everyone - is there? Do we believe that? It might very well be so, but that isn't saying that everyone can write a book.
I'm not talking about the mechanical aspects of writing: words, sentences, paragraphs, spelling, punctuation and grammar, which incorporates style: point-of-view, tone, use of imagery and the multitude of choices that become the writer's style - their voice. I don't need to tell you that they're all a bit important. I'm not talking about the characters (who), plot (what), setting (where and when), theme (why) and style (how).
The reason I'm not talking about any of those things is because you can learn all of them. I know, because I did. In fact, anybody can learn those things, and once you do - are you a writer?
Here's my next book: The Enigma of Apocalypse Heights (Quigg 6). I know some people like a bit of Quigg! Anyway, as I was saying, does learning the rules of writing make you a writer? I would at this point refer you to leadership. I know, it's a bit of a yomp from writing, but not dissimilar - as you'll soon find out. If you learn how to be a leader, does that make you one? The boy at the back picking his nose . . .
"Yes, you Sir."
"Are you sure?"
There you go then. The proof is in the pudding. I used to teach and assess leadership skills, you know. I've had this conversation many times. You're either a leader or you're not - regardless of whether you've learnt the how. And I would say that the same goes for writing. You can either tell a story, or you can't. Jokes are the same thing. Some people can't tell a joke if their next meal depended on it. Can I tell a story? You'd have to ask my readers that question. Much in the same way as followers will tell you whether they're following a leader or not.
Let's talk briefly about story structure. The first thing to clarify is: "What is story structure?" Simply put - BME - Beginning, Middle and End, which is easily illustrated by the story of The 3 Little Pigs above. Below is another diagram illustrating the structure of a story - Note that the climax is as close to the end as possible.
Here's a few more diagrams to illustrate story structure:
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.