How does one begin to write something new? I look to experts for advice from Pixar to Dickinson:
--Pixar story artist Emma Coats has tweeteda series of “story basics” over the past month and a half — guidelines that she learned from her more senior colleagues on how to create appealing stories:
#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes. (Note to self: remember 'character is the very life of fiction' - John Gardner. Give your characters heart, hate, truths, lies).
#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different. (Note to self: every night read aloud all that you wrote that day, picture yourself as the reader).
#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite. (Note to self: first write, anything, get it down on 'paper.')
“…Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse…”
-The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T. S. Eliot
“…Not for the proud man apart
from the raging moon I write
on these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.”
“In My Craft or Sullen Art,” Dylan Thomas
“Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—
…The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind—“
And so it begins again.... but if you haven't read LIE, my critically-acclaimed young adult novel-- about the brutal aftermath of a hate crime against a Latino on Long Island, inspired by real events-- now is the time to get serious and read.