Guest Blogger Ann M. Piraino on her naïve and ingénue writing techniques. Thanks Sara for inviting me to your Blog!! Most of the things I have "published" reside on Ancestry.com (so far).
So to Write On – these are the first tools you will need. Some starting point like my 3 formulae – put some words on the page to start the flow – and an idea of the topic/person/place/thing in your story. Sometimes it is best to start at the end and work back to the beginning – know how it turns out and head in that direction. Of course, character development is great in the 3rd style if you use the semi-auto-biographical version of the formula.
I have three pseudo formula styles for my prose – poetry would be entirely different! Well, maybe not.
First is OUT
The once upon a time group with lots of direction to go from there! Once Upon a Time, a Long, Long Time Ago, In A Land Far, Far Away, at the edge of a dark forest, in a (small, medium-sized) cottage (house) there lived. . . And so it begins, the first of my formula writing styles to flesh out into a story – maybe a fable, a fairy tale or something more up to date like a story set in Forks about vampires.
Okay, those have already been taken by Hans Christian Anderson, The Brothers’ Grimm and Stephanie Meyer but you get the formula concept.
I then expand it by using the variables (parts of the OUT used alone or in parts):
- A Long, long time ago. . .(setting era, timeframe – good for stories about the past in real or fictional form);
- In a land far, far away (setting a location – good for stories in the dessert or even other planets?)
- Maybe in a land far, far away at the edge of a dark forest (look out for hobbits, werewolves, witches and Gepetto the wood carver).
Second is DARN
That stands for It was a dark and rainy night – NOT Stormy! Stormy can conjure up too much of a scary proposition – running off the road in your car, getting hit by a tree, stumbling around in the forest or being frightened inside that old mansion on the hill when the power goes out – no, stormy is Stephen King, Dr. Frankenstein, Edgar Allen Poe and the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Rain can be pleasant – thank goodness because we have so much here in the northwest. It can bring up visions of glistening rainbows from water refracting from streetlights as you walk or drive through the city. It can bring up romantic moments in your cottage, home, motel room with the warm fire burning, candles lit, and anniversary dinner at the table. It can be Sleepless in Seattle with the lapping waves on your houseboat. . .
But, you could still turn rain to a storm if you want to set up fear and terror – great way to go in a split direction!!
3rd – WHEN_WAS
Back when Hannah/Morgan/Amelia – whatever I decide to call myself and write in the third person – was (insert age here) – this stuff happened. This has been a wonderful vehicle to use not only to record some fun stories about my youth and later years but to be able to scrub and put into the ancestry.com files for some future generation (not from me of course, I have no children) to read and ponder. Who could imagine typing and using something that didn’t plug in or use wifi?? Not having a car or having a car with manual transmission? Heavens! How could that be?? Even the current generations Y & Z find those things unheard of!
I remember my step uncle always talking about back-in-the day when he would travel miles to school, or camping trips dragging his canoe behind him until he found the river. Hard to believe now but in the 1920s it was real! They say write what you know and even with tricky memory, writing about yourself is easy – no made up backstory or the ‘what would my hero do in this situation’ concerns – you either know because you already did IT or because you would follow a similar value or ethics decision in the future.
Whatever I/you choose and wherever I/we end up – we can Write On.