Welcome to my Writing blog. If you're interested in my comments about "My Favorite Things," my articles for yourLDSneighborhood.com, and Life in general, click here. For a direct link to my website, click rondahinrichsen.com.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Block Number One: Story Blueprint

Several year ago, my husband and I began building our dream home. Unlike most home builders, we had not only NEVER built a house before, but we had also decided we were going to build it ourselves without going into debt--no matter how long it took. So, with stars in our eyes, blueprints in our pockets, and an old backhoe under our--well, you know--we began to dig the footings.

It's the same with most new-to-the-craft writers. We get a fantastic story idea that sets our hearts pounding and our imaginations soaring. "This will be so good," we tell ourselves. "No one has ever done anything like this before. I might even change the world."

But, unlike our family's house-building adventure, many writers stop right there--at the dream. Why? Because they don't know where to start; they failed to create a blueprint.

How do you create one, you ask? The formula is simple: Character + Conflict (story problem) = Story. In other words, you must formulate a plan; i.e., so-and-so (your main character) wants this or that or another so-and-so (the problem) and overcomes obstacles, each harder than the next (the story), until she either reaches her goal or discovers she wants, has earned., and ultimately chooses something much more worthy of her efforts. That's it.

There are, of course, many other blocks necessary to creating the perfect story, but the blueprint is the first one. And now that you know that much, your adventure begins.

Coming soon: Block Number Two: Character


Josi said...

You're exactly right, Ronda. Every book has to start with character and conflict. And you have a great house! Welcome to blog-world

Jennifer said...

Now I'm curious to hear how the house turned out. :)

I think this is a really good analogy. When you think about the cost involved (not to mention everything else like time, emotion, energy, etc.) in building a house, you wouldn't just abandon the project because you hit a snag or didn't know what to do next. You'd figure it out, work through it.

That's what I need to do with my manuscript. I think I'll get out the blueprints today, dust them off, and get back to work.


C. L. Beck said...

Nice analogy. And I love the way you simplified the process of writing into an easy formula.

By the way, I've seen some of your work in the Friend. Good for you!

ali said...

Hi Ronda!

I'm excited to read your blog! I don't know a lot about the 'formula' of writing and I'm game for learning!

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise.

ali :)

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hi Ronda,

Thanks for visiting my blog -- and I'll be back here frequently.