I have to do a workshop in a couple of weeks about story. It’s basically what we writers talk about all the time. Story. How it works. What are the elements of it? What makes a good story? What makes a bad story? (sometimes just as important to know). How can I make my story different? These are all the things that have been roiling through my head as I get ready for this workshop. But it’s been hard to focus. I have been writing stories for almost twenty years now and I was struggling with how to distill the whole concept of story into a 45 minute talk.
Now I am a champion procrastinator so it’s been a bit of a slog to get this workshop stuff together. Every now and then, however, panic strikes. Like today. When I finally buckled down and pulled together all those niggling little jobs that have been hanging over my head the past couple of months and got them off my to-do list before I get this workshop done. I’ve got a few more things (like writing this blog post) and then I can move onto the big job. So in the spirit of to-do-list-off-crossing I thought I would kill two birds with one stone…… (have you ever really wondered if anyone has ever accomplished this? And seriously, why would you want to kill one bird, let alone two? And with a stone?)….. and get this blog post done at the same time.
Now I don’t know about you but I’m visual. While I’m riding the cliche train, I may as well say that a picture is worth a thousand words. (My editor, however, doesn’t seem to think so. She prefers the 1000 words x 60) But I thought you might like a peek into the mind of a writer when she or he is thinking of story. So as I was pondering and procrastinating on this very subject, something that entailed a sudden urge to clean my desk, I found some papers which listed fun sites for writers.
Now I’m all about the fun. And the procrastinating. So I jotted down the sites and visited them all. ALL. Research you know. In the process, I found a very cool site that allowed you to make your own infographic. It’s called Easelly and it’s easily the most fun I’ve had putting together workshop-type stuff since I discovered the cube flip transition on Power Point.
And, even better, as I filled it out I found a way to bring story down to a more manageable explanation.
Without further ado and non-sequiturs, here is the infographic that I adapted to my peculiar how-to-write-a-story-workshop needs. It was originally about food but I think I managed to make it mine.
Now, how cool is that? In one glance you can see what a good story requires. Now it’s simply a matter of filling in the blanks, putting it all together and voila, what do you have!
See, it’s not that simple. But sometimes it’s a good exercise to bring things that I know in a broader sense down to the basics so I can explain it better.
And I know this infographic doesn’t cover everything, but I think it’s gives a good idea of the basics of story in a glance. Plus it was fun to do and it helped me narrow my own focus on story and what it entails.
So if you are inspired by what you see here, share it! And let me know if you think there’s anything I should change because I know there are some writers and would-be writers out there reading this post and if there’s one thing writers love to do is ……edit…..someone else’s stuff.
P.S. I do actually get down to real writing from time to time. If you want to find out more about me and my books you can check out my website and if you are really hooked, you can download a free copy of a book. All you have to do is give me your name and e-mail address, first born child (toilet trained preferably), a fly swatter (I lost mine) and the secret to how they get the caramilk in the caramilk bar. (though I prefer to learn how to make Kit Kat’s. Love me my Kit Kats). Actually I’m kidding about the child. And the other stuff. But not the name and the e-mail address. That I NEVER kid about.