Writing is a three-legged-table. The first leg of character develop helps the reader relate to your characters. They can see them grow (or degenerate) as the story moves along. It is critical that the characters have flaws…people relate to human faults.
The second leg of writing is plot. This tells your reader what happened. For example we see Luke Skywalker lead his father back to the good side. In Lord of the Rings we see Frodo’s struggle with the ring and Aragorn’s decision to take his place as king.
The last leg is called World Building. World Building is the act of putting together a setting in which your stories take place, weather that be middle earth or a galaxy far, far away.
As you begin to write, think about these three things, and reveal a little more about each to your writer.
A memory conceived among many senses will not be easily forgotten (Tweet That!). The goal of communication is to deliver a message to a recipient in a way that it can be received and comprehended, but I think communication should go beyond that. We should communicate to be remembered. If it’s worth saying, it’s worth remembering.
Memories are more than words and concepts, they are life experiences. Try thinking of an emotional event in your, life like an argument with a close friend. You probably remember it more in terms of how you felt than the words that were said.
Have you ever gotten sick while eating a certain food? Once, when I was a teenager, I got extremely intoxicated. I was so out of control that my mother gave me a bath and I didn’t know it. That’s probably a good thing. I still have no memory of what happened to me that night, but I remember how I felt. For years the smell of any alcohol would make me sick. The reason I remember it so well is because the event is tied to several senses – smell, taste, touch, etc.
I’ve had many opportunities throughout my life to speak before various groups. I’ve spoke at churches, community settings, in front of children and adults. I enjoy speaking and writing, and helping others understand things. When I speak to a group, I try to employ methods that will touch as many senses as possible. I was speaking some years back on the topic of sharing and half-way through my speech I had a pizza delivered to the podium. I stopped for a moment, paid for the pizza, picked up a slice, took a few bites, and began speaking again. Seven years later someone approached me and said, “Hey I remember that time you spoke, and gave me a slice of pizza”. Why did they remember? Because they heard, they saw, they touched, they tasted, and they could smell what I was saying (Tweet That!).
This same principle applies to us as authors. You may not be there when the reader picks up your piece, but you can trigger memories they’ve stored away. Don’t just tell them what happened; drop your reader smack dab in the middle of a scene (Tweet That!). Let them experience your writing through their memories.