Writing is an epic battle between telling a story and telling the story. We all tell stories; it’s called lying, and some of us are better at it than others. However, telling a particular story that conveys a particular mood, setting, action, emotion etc., separates the boys from the goats and it’s a lot harder. Every person who wants to write has to learn how to do it. For example, there’s a world of difference between:
“It was a dark and stormy night.”
“The grey clouds snagged in the bones of the trees wept their sadness into the evening.”
“Fury cried ‘Havoc!’ and lashed the night with blowing curtains of rain.”
Three different lines, three different stories? No. Each one of these is a story about a storm, but which one is the story you want to tell and how do you get there from here?
Here’s a writing exercise. There are several pictures below, and each one has a particular story. Choose one and tell it. Not the back story or what happens next or what went on before or any other fictional account; just the story that keeps the essence of the picture intact (in this case humour.) The story that lets your reader “read” the picture. It’s a lot harder than it looks. Good Luck.