The Fine Line to Once Upon a Time
Article by: J.E. Tyler
The number one question that I am often asked by prospective writers is how do you begin to write a book. So many people have creative stories growing and festering within their minds, but they just don’t know the proper words to unleash them. Well, this frequently asked question leads me to ScribBoy’s very first tip to unleashing your Creative Scribe Vibe. In this lesson, we will discuss ScribBoy’s methodology of crossing The Fine Line to Once Upon a Time.
If you’ve ever attempted to write any piece of creative literature, its extremely likely that you’ve found yourself typing and backspacing over a variety of random words and seemingly senseless introductions. After you’ve written so many lines of deleted sentences, you began to fall into frustration. You grow tired of looking into the white space of the same blank page. It’s about as agonizing as running a ten-mile marathon without moving forward one single step.
When you find yourself consistently on this wrong side of a writer’s hurdle, your first leap towards alleviating the issue may be to fully identify your narrator’s voice. The narrator of any story is the single perspective whose point of view drives the plot development forward. For your readers, this voice will become their own voice. It is often times, the first voice and the last voice that they will encounter as they read the words of your story. This is why it is important for you to become acquainted with the character who will be greeting your readers.
When crafting a fiction story, your narrator can take on one of three different roles. These roles are defined by the narrator’s point of view. The narrator can either take the first-person point of view, the limited third-person point of view, or the omniscient third-person point of view. The first-person point of view narrator is a character in your story retelling the events as they recall them. This method, in essence, is what is known as “hearing the story from the horse’s mouth.” The limited third-person point of view is when the narrator doesn’t exist in the story, but is retelling the story of other characters. This point of view is what many of us like to call “he said, she said gossip.” The omniscient third-person method of narration is similar to the third-person limited, however the difference is that the Omniscient third-person narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all characters. The Omniscient third-person can easily be defined as God’s point of view.
Once you’ve identified your story’s narrator, you will find yourself in a much better position of allowing this character to tell your story.
Once you’ve identified your story’s narrator, you will find yourself in a much better position of allowing this character to tell your story. In terms of the first-person narration, this author’s best advice is to simply talk to the page. That blank space that has been tap dancing on your nerves is no longer a bunch of white space. I want you to look into that white space and imagine the face of your best friend. You can even think of the space as a social media placeholder, which is requesting your next post. In the words of Facebook, “What’s on your mind?” Then allow your imagination to build a world around both you and your best friend. Glance around at this world, and relay every single aspect of what you’re seeing to your best friend. Start with whatever sight your eyes land on first, and since you’re a character, allow your emotions to guide your speech. As you write, don’t get caught up on grammar, tone, construction or any of the other mechanics of writing. All of those corrections can be made later with the help of an editor. At this point, your only responsibility is to release your thoughts onto the page.
In terms of third-person narration, I still suggest that you talk to the page, but your approach will be a little different. You’re no longer telling the story from your point of view. At this point, you need to imagine that you’re the “fly on the wall.” With your imagination, build the scene around you. Use elements of your own reality to anchor unreal settings, moods, and people into your vision. Once you’ve realized the vision of this world that you aim to share, just begin to speak on the elements that first stand out to you. Tell the page exactly what you’re seeing, whether it’s a character’s features, mannerisms, or the actions of that character. You can even describe the setting. Pick out a flower or the way the rising sun is spreading out over the scene. If it is the conversations that intrigue you most, you can begin with the dialogue of your characters. There are no constraints to what you’re relaying. The sharpest point within your creative vision will always be your most effective introduction.
If you’ve read this article and considered all of the aforementioned points, I can almost guarantee that the words of your story are starting to bubble from your head like the contents of a hot cauldron. Allow the story to flow until it is complete. At this point, nothing else matters because you have successfully taken a leap into your story’s introduction.