The swamp does seem to be where all the ACTION is today because Alligators is visiting three more great blogs. And that started me thinking about–of all things–writing stories.
I’m one of those writers who likes to start with characters, then figure out what their story should be. I’m a terrible plotter, so it takes me a while to start the story engine, and I guess that’s why I have to rewrite the beginning after I’ve written “The End.” My beginnings are miserable in early drafts. They can put a couch to sleep, really.
When I do my final revisions, I jump between rewriting the first pages to rewriting further into the story, tweaking both until I get that engine firing on all cylinders from page one. What I’ve found is that a smoothly running plot is really all about bringing those characters to life on the page before I do anything else. To me the characters are where the real ACTION is.
I have a lot to say about this, but I’m going to start with one easy characterization technique, EXAGGERATION. I love this when I’m writing for kids, but I think it works for adult stories as well. Here’s what I mean.