How a story is a horse, of course

Writing has been hard work. I’ve had trouble getting from the end of the middle of one story, to its conclusion, which I’ve worked out. And, with my novella, I’ve begun fixing everything I’ve realised is wrong with it, but it takes a while to warm up.

I’m not feeling the mojo, in other words, but I know I don’t have to. The magic of inspiration will happen while I do the work, not if I wait around for it.

Thus, while I while away my weekends and evenings editing, and with my thoughts recently upon Westerns, I thought I would show you how a story is like a horse.

I’ll say that again:

A story is like a horse. Let me show you how

You start with the bones: a plot or idea and perhaps a character or location. There are parts and they will move.

Stories start with the bones.

Stories start with the bones. Write them down.

Then, you start to add the muscle. These are details. There is colour and as a result, there will be movement.

Muscles in stories are attributes, details, things your plot and characters need.

Muscles in stories are attributes, and things your plot and characters need.

But all you have is a horse. It could be a great horse, but actually, it’s just standing there, it will get bored. I will get bored. Art is fine, but it can be better.

Nice horse, I guess. But bored now.

Nice horse, I guess. But bored now.

What makes art, horses and stories better is dress ups! Make your story or horse extraordinary. Make your story communicate something individual. Characters should be fully delineated, just like all horses are different.

See that ear? That's personality right there.

See that ear? Those bells? That’s personality right there.

Put more stuff into your story, make your horse interact. Provide motivation, reward and danger.

Fame helps.

Fame and money can motivate, but not usually horses.

Personality can only go so far though. You need your horse – your story – to do something. Plot is action. You made a horse, now you must set it free, or to work, or send the mighty beast into battle. Make something happen to the horse.

Action horses are go, wing commander!

Action horses are go, wing commander!

Now your story horse is galloping, but there needs to be an arc, or trajectory to your horse’s journey. Remember, few horse races are in straight lines. Maybe there will be tragedy, maybe triumph, but whatever happens, there needs to be a conclusion.

Maybe the brave horse joins with the lion to fight off the stupid human who has the horse captive ...

Maybe the brave horse joins with the lion to fight off the stupid human who has the horse captive …#justsaying

Even if your ending is unexpected, whatever you do, don’t decide, right at the end of your tethered horse, it was something else entirely. A story is a story, don’t make it into a think piece, personal essay, and don’t end it in a dream.

Your story is a horse, not an upside down octopus rising from the deaths to conquire the world, k?

Your story is a horse, not an upside down octopus rising from the depths to conquer the world, k?

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About Becadroit

A writer.
This entry was posted in Notes on Writing Related Stuff, Stories, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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