The Story is in the Reaction

Almost everyone has experienced that unexpected bump in the road that sends her life careening in a new direction. I say “almost”  because I have known people who had enjoyed (so far) an event-less  and predictable life. But it’s a certainty that the only certainty in life is change.

Writers use this knowledge. The story opens with a deadly accident, a disappearance, a diagnosis, a letter revealing a deadly secret — you name it.

This devastating event sets the hero on a new journey. If you you can’t think of an example, simply browse the daily newspaper or watch the evening news.

A woman is abducted. A man is shot while picking up a loaf of bread at a convenience store.

This event is your starting point. But it is not the story.

The story is how your heroine reacts to the news. Did it happen to her or to a loved one? Either way, she must do something beside cry and wring her hands. And there is where your story lies.

I have used a deadly diagnosis, a job loss, a crippling injury, a theft, a forced marriage, and other turning points in my stories.  I imagine how I might handle the situation, and then start to imagine how my heroine would handle it.

The story begins to take shape from there.

What event kick-started your story?  Did it happen to you or someone you know, or did you read or hear about it in the news? Why did that particular event push your creative urges into action?

It all goes back to the “What If?” that all literature hangs on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blue Ridge Vinlandia

The Wineries of the Applalacian Foothills

Summer in New Hampshire

NH - America's Vacationland

Mimosa Mornings Writers

Writers Wearing PJs, drinking coffee, dreaming mimosas

Jennie Spallone


Rurally Screwed

Jessie Knadler

The Dream Well

We believe time spent sleeping is time spent well!

Ozark Pagan Mamma

Folk Magic, Druidism, Heathenry, & Pagan Parenting


when life surprises you!

Farm to Table Asian Secrets

Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Pam Grout

#1 New York Times best-selling author

The Chocolate Box

Romance for Every Taste

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Book Ends and Odds

Mary Incontro blogs on books, pop culture, and criminal cases

Writer Unboxed

about the craft and business of fiction

Chick Lit Is Not Dead

Two girls who believe that books with high fashion and happy endings never go out of style

Angela Quarles

Witty, Charming, Captivating Fiction

%d bloggers like this: