Thoughts on Writing


Silence is soft and silky.
It soothes and relaxes.
It inspires and motivates thought.
When combined with light it calms and promotes introspection.
In the darkness it sparks creativity and imagination.
But in those moments of in between,
At dawn and at dusk,
The power of both light and dark combine to form the genesis
Of the most beautiful and meaningful opus of all.
The combination of the mysterious and the mystical.
The fountain of both joy and enlightenment.
The optimism of a beginning
Connected to the thread of adventure
Leading onward to the ultimate ending.


In Aristotle’s Poetics he asserts that a whole has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The author’s task, given an idea for a story, is to discover where it begins, follow it’s development through the middle, arriving ultimately at the end. In creating a story, it is often easier to determine how it ends before attempting to discover where it begins. The middle is the easiest portion of the story as it conveys the protagonist from the beginning to the end.

Now, looking at the process of creating a story from a slightly different perspective, we have a protagonist. The protagonist wants something. There is an antagonist, someone or something that stands between the protagonist and the thing that they want. Then there is the call to adventure, the thing that convinces the protagonist that they might be able to attain that which they desire.

The protagonist sets their feet on the path to obtain that which they desire. They soon meet obstacles that must be overcome. At first the obstacles prove insurmountable. They try and fail, multiple times. And yet, just as they are about to concede defeat, they figure out how to overcome the obstacles and attain their hearts desire. As a result of the journey they have taken they have become a different person. They have grown.

When examined as a template, the story seems tame and uninteresting. The job of the writer is to hide the skeleton of the story in the details of the journey. To be satisfying, it must not seem to be a foregone conclusion that the protagonist will succeed. And then there is the matter of the price of success. The reward doesn’t come to the protagonist without a sacrifice of some sort.

The choices that the protagonist makes reveal the growth that they have accomplished. It is useful to illustrate the flaws of the protagonist early in the story so that it is obvious how they have changed by the end of it.

Another important thing to remember is that everyone, including the antagonist, is the hero of their own story. If you want your villain to be believable, you have to understand what their perspective and motivation is. They will often perceive the protagonist as the villain of their story.

Stay safe. Wear a mask when you go out. Keep social distance. Wash your hands. Take care of yourself and each other. We’ll get through this together.