An Aha Moment

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I didn’t die nor did my laptop, in case you’re wondering why this blog hasn’t been updated. It’s the same-old, same-old around here. I’ve been caught up in writing so much that I called the Little Dude by a character’s name. I guess it’s fair because he now has make-believe “bad guys” and “good guys” who get into all kinds of scrapes. (My husband and I are not excluded from these rip, roaring yarns.) Now that the Little Dude can talk, Ryan and I can’t think of whom he gets his imagination from … it must be something in our water.

Anyway, I’m studying TV writing and came across this passage from Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box by Alex Epstein. He’s talking about telling a story out loud before writing it, and reading it again after you’ve written it. But this part really got me … can’t you tell, since I haven’t posted a blog since Mary Talbot Fee, whose CD is FABULOUS!!!

Whether you are writing a TV episode, a screenplay, a novel, an essay, a presentation, or a speech, there is nothing as effective in streamlining, enriching and generally beating a story into shape as winging the whole thing front to back off the top of your head.

After all, what you do have to lose? You’re not driving a car. You can’t hurt anyone. If you wrap your story around a tree, you can always untangle it and get it back on the road again with a few leaps of imagination.

This technique worked very well for In Between Men, especially since there were so many different POVs. All I did was read ten-page sections into a tape recorder and then played it back while reading along with the manuscript. It’s really not that painful. Trust me.

But I’ve never tried telling the story out loud before I’ve written it. I think I’ll give it a try with the new material I’m planning to work on over the next couple of weeks. I’ll let you know how it works.