When I am having trouble plotting out my story or figuring out where I want the story to go, I sit down and write a short story about me (as the main character) telling someone else all about my story, my characters, and why they should read it.
I tend to work this routine even if I don't know what that story is yet..or at least not all of it. The story might be just an idea I have with various parts of a beginning, a middle, or end floating about the realm of my imagination. If that is the case, this exercise can help you get the creative energies flowing by allowing you to write about your story as though it were done and you were telling someone about it. It forces you to create, imagine, and develop on the fly.
While you are imagining how other people are going to react to your story...you might find that your story needs to go a different way in order to get the reaction you wanted (or imagined). After all, aren't we just talking to ourselves here in this exercise?
In summary, this type of writing exercise serves the purposes of :
- practicing what to tell other people (potential readers & publishers) about your story to get them hooked
- identifying the key points of the story that you should tell others about
- a dress rehearsal for when you are presented with a "this is it" moment, where you get to pitch your story or idea to an agent or editor.
- creating a narrative one sheet to help you focus the "real" one sheet document
- allowing you the opportunity to quickly see how (sweeping) changes to the storyline affect the overall story
Bottom line- this is a good exercise just to see if what you already have (or will have) sounds good (at least when your telling someone else about it) as though it were a finished product. It's a narrative type of plotting tool, if you will, that can help you develop your storyline and characters from what I call "the back book cover point of view."
Anyway, try it. Take something you have already written and write a story about you telling someone about your story and how they react to it. You can then try it with a potential story that is swirling around in your creative think tank.
Until next time........remember to write from the past, write in the present, and write boldly into the future.