DAY ONE: STARTING POINT,
Let's face it: I can rarely write a whole story without getting to know my character's soul first. Like, really really learning about what he's 'made of'. Sometimes I need to think really hard, and sometimes it just flows from me, like it's someone else's hand that's writing the words down.
Very often I only need to hear sentence or two to get me going. And when I feel that there's a potential for that sentence to turn to a great story, i play the WHAT IF GAME!
Let's take an example:
One woman says to another: I think he's cheating on me. That is potentially a strong sentence to play with.
So the game goes - write out a plot, making sure that each sentence begins with a 'what if'. In this case, it would be like this:
What if the first woman actually caught her man cheating?
What if she found out that her friend is the one he's cheating her with?
What if she decides to confront her?
What if her friend is playing stupid?
What if the first woman finds actual evidence that they've met when he said he's going to the gym?
What if she confronts him?
What if he's begging her to forgive him?
What if he has a motive to stay with her while at the same time wanting to be with her friend...
and so on, and so on! So, what happens is, by questioning you can almost automatically realize where the plot is going. Removing the 'what if's' you have the plot: she finds out her husband is cheating on her. She tells her friend, knowing that she is the one he's cheating her with. Friend won't admit it until she presents her with evidence of her affair. Then she goes after her husband but he wants to stay with her because he needs her money...
This is just a basic example of how the story can evolve. And whenever in a block, ask yourself WHAT IF...and the answer will come by itself.
The second part of the first day will follow tomorrow. Until then - get these creative juices flowing!