Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fun Ideas and Tips #5: Find Your Truths

Going along with Tuesday's blogpost about writing what you know, here's some things to consider when brainstorming the truths you can use in your stories.

1. Write down, in detail, memories from the past that:
a. Made you deliriously happy
b. Made you furious
c. Embarrassed you
d. Caused a huge roadblock
e. Forced you to make a difficult decision
f. Gave you the most satisfaction
g. Made you feel like giving up or drove you to the depths of depression
h. Truly scared you
i. Really made you laugh

2. Write down dialogue interchanges that went with those experiences as best you can. (Hint: you'll find the ones that are worth using are easy to recall.)

3. List people from your past or present who really stand out to you. You might admire them, envy them, hate them, love them, or have a weird fascination for them. Analyze why. What makes these individuals so distinctive and memorable?

4. Write down a list of themes or causes that you feel passionate about. Pros or cons, it doesn't matter.

5. Write down a list of quirks or character traits you most often notice in yourself or the people around you. (Animals are fun to do to.)

6. Consider the places you've lived or visited. Describe them in detail. What do you remember best about them? (For example: I’ve lived in cold places so I know a lot about snow and ice. Now I can use these details to make my cold settings realistic and true.)

7. Write down the jobs, or other occupations you've had. This can be anything from a professional career to a babysitting gig, or service projects. Write down what you did (or do), what skills you need for each job, and the kinds of people you've met or interacted with.

8. Write down a list of all the things you like to read about or study. Formal education can count too, but you really want to take notice of the subjects you're passionate about. You might also want to compose a list of subjects you're itching to learn more about.

9. Write down all the things that get you riled up. What are your pet peeves? What will change you from a great mood to a bad mood in a snap? (or vice versa)

10. Write down any injuries, illnesses, or handicaps you've dealt with or the people you know have dealt with. This can be anything from wearing glasses to being stuck in bed with a broken leg or dying from some horrible disease.

The key to all of these things is passion. The strongest truths come from the strongest memories, ones that get you excited, that take you back to that moment with excruciating detail. By recalling these memory triggers you'll infuse what you know into your writing and share those truths with your readers.

Have any other great ideas for this list? Please share in the comments.

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