The most common question that pops up about writing is: "I know what I want to convey, but how do I write it into a story?" Simply put, you know what you want your characters and places to be, you know what you want to happen, and you even know what aura you want the story to have; but you don't know quite where to begin when putting it on paper.
So here we are, for the comic book community, going through the steps that work best. I was recently asked to write a story. If your a comic book writer, it might not be to far out of the ordinary that people will ask you to write a story. When asked to write the short story, the main point to it was to easily convey the description of a person, place or thing. We're talking about description here, so I jotted some ideas down on paper. I wanted to describe an intersection because with this broad idea I can go anywhere I want. My characters, hmm, well basically I want to think about what might be around an intersection in a busy city.
This is where you brain comes into play to compliment your ability to write, the ideas empower yours words. If I have a window washer cleaning high above the intersection than it will be easy to convey everything that's going on through what he sees. A general rule of thumb is that a story is better if you tell it through people. Straight narrating may omit certain emotional aspects as well as common thought processes that readers can easily connect to.
It is also my personal opinion that no story is complete unless it motivates thought or meaning. A piece of fiction can easily be entertaining, but wouldn't you much rather be able to set down a book when you're done with it and say, "Ya know, he brings up some good points." Of course! Thinking back on the idea of an intersection in a big city and how busy they are, one of the first things I do is ask some questions. Why is it that people are always in such a rush? Their in a hurry to get to a place, but why can't they take a second and enjoy the scenary? Or why don't they even realize that their life is wasting away through haste while that man that's washing windows is peacefully taking in everything he sees below? Do they realize that just through observation the window washer is probably smarter than the rest of them put together?
Ok...sorry about that, but you can see how asking a few questions about your story or your ideas can give you a better grasp of what to write. It's so easy to turn it into a philosophical reflection, but we're taking the more simple and reader-friendly route. So I'm just gonna post the story down below. Feel free to read it over and over until you get an idea of how to introduce certain emotion and feelings into your own work.
He dipped his squeegee into the foamy green bucket of Windex as a beautiful breeze kissed his face. A tear of the blue cleaner dropped as he lifted up the squeegee. The diamond-like shimmer that seemed to fall in slow motion held his eyes in a trance. He watched it drop for three stories until it hit the ground.
Inches away from an important business man. Although what is it that makes him so important? They're all swarming around each other down their like bees outside a hive. Haste and hard work to get what's so sweet to them...money.
Cars seemed to be flying by, all of them in a hurry. Some of them even got mad when the vehicle in front of them didn't move as soon as a yellow box shined green instead of red.
Not everyone was dressed up in suits though, their were a few men in coveralls walking down the sidewalk. The bottom line was that the street corner was very busy at five o'clock. To think of it, most people were probably headed off to their homes for the weekend. Why were they in such a hurry though? In the end, were most of them rushing home for an important date? No, they were rushing home to relax. But it seemed ironic that they wouldn't want to relax on the way toward their houses.
On the far corner was a concrete bench, usually empty and mainly there for advertising purposes. But today their was a boy there. Eleven or twelve with nappy brown hair curling out from under his baseball cap. His face buried in a comic book, eyes concentrated on superheroes saving the world. Everything around him didn't seem to bother him at all. Not once did he lose focus or look up at the people rushing by him. Not once did his head look up with the sound of a car horn or screeching tires.
Isn't that what life is about...relaxing. Who can say that the boy reading a comic book has a horrible life thus far? Maybe one out of every hundred people that passed by noticed him. Were they wondering what happened to their life that used to be like that?
Paper wrappers of all types cluttered the ground by the thousands. Small chunks of trash that people thought wouldn't make a difference if it was on the street or in a dumpster. But there I sat and saw the overwhelming mass of them, sitting there. Cigarette butts fill the streets where people stop at a red light and finish their smoke. It almost seems like each car that passed by had to dump out an ash tray to get such a large collection on the streets.
Cars of all types passed me by, every single one of them with at least one person that's headed in one direction to get to a specific place. You can tell a lot about people by the type of car they drive. Some cars boomed through the streets as bass pounded from their trunks. Others casually paced by with tinted windows and chrome wheels. SUVs were a plenty, made to go off-road yet I doubt any of those that passed ever left the pavement. And on top of that the number of makes, models, colors and styles made my head spin.
It's not till you sit at an intersection that you realize the true amount of exhaust that pollutes the earth. The stench of burning fuel permeated the air and eventually started to dig into my clothes. Big diesel semis shouted black clouds from within. My eyes watered...and no one even knew what was going on. It seems like most people never realize what they're actually doing until they feel the repercussions from their actions. And then they talk in anger about how much they hate the world...what did they ever do to have something so horrible happen to them?
The pizza delivery guy on his bike, probably fresh out of high school and excited to have a job...the excitement will die down as he realizes he pushes bike pedals to give people food for a living.
An epiphany aroused the structure of my surroundings as reality broke through and grabbed what it wanted from me and left as quickly as it had come.
Sidewalks cracked just like the aura of community, buildings blackened a lot like the motivation of the masses, and there I sat taking it all in. This is my life, couldn't pick where or to whom I was born, but I can pick what I live for. These material possessions aren't enough for me...aren't enough for anyone. I want to live for something more than this rush to make more money. I want to live for Christ.
After reading the short story, ask yourself a few questions; and ask these same questions as you read over one of your own pieces. What did you like or dis-like about the story? Could you connect to the characters easily? How did you feel and what were your emotions as you read the story? Did you understand the story as well as the concepts that are laid underneath the philosophical aspect of thought?
That's it for now, hope to see you again soon. If you have any questions on introducing ideas and thoughts into your writing, as well as any other questions about writing; feel free to email me. We'll see you in the next tutorial.
- Joseph Lookabaugh