The two Cs of story writing

Have you ever read something you’ve written and ended up scratching your head.
‘What on earth does that mean?’ you ask.

For some reason, not even known to my subconscious, most bits of writing I produce at the moment turn out plain wrong. Vexing, it is.

So I talked to my co-blogger, Fran, trying to pick apart what was going wrong. Two things recurred: clarity and conflict.

Stories need to be clear for the reader. But it also needs to be clear for the writer, hopefully before writing begins. This has been sadly lacking with my writing process of late. Instead, I’ve been adopting the ‘scattergun of ideas’ approach. I don’t recommend it. Although I’m easily confused at the best of times, this way of working doesn’t help.

Conflict is another essential. Without it there is no story. My stories weren’t without the called for obstacle but the solution to the conflict often wasn’t strong enough. The writing just drifted and with it my attention. Nothing should be easy to solve, not even your own stories!

So my new mantra is: be clear what you mean and avoid the muddles. And make the conflict a real obstacle.

In other words, people, make war with your words!


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