Sunday, June 12, 2016
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
It took me forever to realize that I didn’t have to follow Robert McKee’s Story or other writing books, in which you learn to raise the stakes with special attention to the physical world (outward conflict). The stakes translate mostly to great visuals or action scenes. It is much harder to raise the stakes of the inner story. A human can raise their awareness and change their attitude. They can see change in survival, sex, love, but they can’t change into Superman or raise their IQ (well, these are different stories when compared to the romances we typically write and it doesn’t improve the book, IMO). A book is different from a movie. A movie must rely on physically compelling scenes to make up for the lack of interior monologue. A good book must rely on the inner development of characters. So, it doesn’t matter if your character is James Bond or Casper Melbatoast. As long as the characters go through change that a reader can identify and empathize with, you’ll have a story.
Note these best sellers: The Secret Life of Bees, A Man Called Ove, The Nest, etc.
I’m not saying it doesn’t matter if your hero saves the world, just that he or she save their smaller world. You can write a story with plenty of outer conflict or not. If you want to write it, and believe in the story, well then, you’ve got something others will love too.
So, that’s my two cents… What if someone wrote a story about a poor boy who saved his pennies to help feed his family and then the coins were stolen?
Just don't float like a bee or bite like a butterfly.