When I was younger and blocked, the land of story was terrifying. I wanted to enter but it was unknown and scary.
I thought a map might help. A handy guide to help me find my way through it.
I bought plenty of books about story structure. They showed me the signposts, the stops, and the sights, but I felt unsatisfied. I was bored. They were showing me someone else’s journey.
Then I found Jerry Cleaver’s Immediate Fiction, and he gave me simpler directions: “Head off in that direction and look for conflict. Travel it again. Find a quicker way through. Make it cleaner. Make it simpler.”
He made it seem easy. Discovering the landscape of the story was fun. I was no longer scared.
And once I became comfortable with that, I learned about other landscapes. Ones without conflict, or are fragments, or aren’t as linear as I’m used to.
The moral of this post is that we have to start somewhere. We all have to set foot into unfamiliar land, and be open to discovery. That’s how we’ll discover the stories that we are supposed to tell.