I was recently asked to do a workshop on fiction writing with some kids. And of course, there it was again. The blank page. This time it wasn’t even on the paper or the computer screen, it was out there in the future with a room full of kids staring at me and me having to give them something anything, a tool, a hint, a crumb that might help them discover the fun of telling a story any story.
And so how does it begin? Where does it begin. An image, a what if, a what if that turns into a person inching their way through the real but imagined world. Sanford Meisner said that “Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” Well, the same can be said for storytelling. Our actors are the characters in our novels and if they don’t behave truthfully then their stories don’t resonate. So how do I take a room full of kids and give them permission to let their imaginations run free in the truths they create? I’m discovering that as I discover the characters in my stories. I am playing with a great What If. And as I discover that, I will share it with you and with them.