The week has begun and that means… that often means that we’re feeling a little rundown and overwhelmed by the thought of …. Monday. But you know what? You’ve got this. I believe in you. You can take this Monday and make a difference. You can.
And if you are a writer, you can take this Monday and make a difference in your story by doing one thing:
Thinking about what your story’s premise.
What’s a premise?
It’s what your story is about. It’s the powerful building block that all your choices and all your characters’ choices are propelled from.
Agent and author Donald Maas suggests that to figure out what you want your story to be about, think about your favorite three books. The ones that you remember lines from. The ones that you fell in love with. The ones that you didn’t just read, but you experienced.
For me, those favorite books are (NO JUDGING):
Illusions, by Richard Bach
A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeline L’Engle
She had Some Horses, by Joy Harjo
What do these books have in common is the first question you should ask.
I read all of these books when I was little (under 12) and they all had spiritual aspects.
Those books became part of who I am, part of the make-up of me, my belief systems, my loves.
Your favorite books are like that for you, too.
What’s super interesting to me is that these novels (and probably your own top picks) all have something in common – the author is trying to make us understand, believe, or feel. Bach was trying to tell us that we all have potential to be messiahs. L’Engle tells us about significance and the significance of the universe and Harjo who wrote in her introduction, “It’s not about what the poem means. It’s ‘how’ the poem means.”
How do you mean?
How do you understand?
How does your story?
When you write your story, you will do this, too.
Think about what you’re passionate about. How does that relate to the story that you’re working on? How does that relate to the life you’re working on? How are you passionate? How are you living that passion?
We write our truths out into the world and it’s important for us to live those truths as well. So, find your premise. What is your story about? What is your life about? But even more importantly – how is your life about?
The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?
You should totally buy Carrie’s book about Moe. It’s awesome and quirky and fun.
OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.
Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow.
Carrie offers solo writing coach services, but she’s also teaching a Write! Submit! Support! six-month class online via the Writing Barn in Austin. For details about that class, check out this link. For more about Carrie’s individual coaching, click here.