Chapter 1: Five Minutes from Wonder to Writer

Do you want to write a story? Then let’s do it.

  • Introduce the hero
  • Identify the challenge
  • Show what changes when hero meets challenge
  • Show the resolution

Sound tricky? Don’t worry – five minutes and we got this.

Stand on shoulders

MC900435237Pick a commercial.

Write it as a story in your own words. Break it down in your own words. What’s the conflict, how is it resolved?

Does your hand shake when ink hits pad? Text it in 25 words or less to yourself. Scribble it on your hand.  Here’s an example:

Margi’s kitchen floor is gross. Her mop is ineffective. Hank said, “hey Margi, there’s a better way!” He gave her a better mop. Using the new mop, Margi now has a clean kitchen and hey, a new friend in Hank. The end.

Just do it.

Businessman Wearing CapeSuccess

There ya go – you’ve written a story. Good for you! How do you feel?  Excited but frustrated?  That’s how I felt.

  • I need to show that Margi is a smart cookie, not just a schlub with crappy accessories.
  • Who in heck is Hank, and why did he wander into her kitchen with a new mop?
  • What’s with the dopey dialog? And why did it feel like I’d never touched a keyboard before when I groped to find the quotes key?

Five minutes ago, back before you were a writer, all of that dialog and setting stuff was pretty esoteric, right? If now it’s crazy important and you can’t wait to learn more then, like young Beethoven who couldn’t bear to leave a progression of chords unfinished, you may have the passion for writing you’ll need to become an author. If instead, that exercise satisfies your curiosity, well, now you know.

Move forward

Once you’ve tasted success (if it moves you) you can progress. There are exercises to try on this site and I’ll keep adding more. There’s discussion about head space and the mechanics throughout this book. I’ve gathered resources that have helped me. And now, you have the perspective of a writer: now you’re on your way.

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