Things are still going slow in Kenya, as I’m sure is the case in most other parts of the world, because of the current Pandemic. But your writing career doesn’t need to be on a go slow, in fact this should be a season to really focus and keep learning the craft of writing. I am encouraged because I know this is just a season and it shall pass. So, I am taking full advantage of the situation and going deeper in my own writing. I’m also thinking more and more about the business of writing and the craft, and how to make sure I don’t go down without a fight in what is said to be tough times ahead economically for many. I’ll share my thoughts on that on a blog post soon. For now, let’s keep working on our craft. I’ve got 5C’s to guide you on that. Read on.
- CHARACTER: The type of characters you create for your story are as important as the story itself. What type of characters have you created? Do we empathize with them? We don’t need to love your character, but we need to feel for them, for their situation and what they’re going through. Do we root for the characters you’ve created? Do we go the journey with them? In Breaking Bad we root for Walter White despite him being a lost soul and doing the wrong things in life, we root for him and go the journey with him wanting him to succeed. Think carefully about all your important characters as they will propel your story to success or lead it down the drain.
- CHOREOGRAPHY: The dictionary definition of this word is ‘A sequence of steps and movements in a dance or figure skating, especially in a ballet or other staged dance.
I’d like to use the word choreography to talk about the structure of your story. We all know that every story has a beginning, middle and an end. Make sure you start your story with a scene that grabs your readers attention. Grab our attention and lead us in. And then as you get deeper and deeper into the story, make sure the reader is asking the question ‘What happens next? As we turn the pages as an audience that should be the question we ask, so make sure you don’t lose us on that. Don’t wait to surprise the reader on later pages, our attention span is increasingly becoming shorter and shorter, so you have to give us a reason to stay on and wait for whatever big revelations you have planned ahead. A well-structured script has tension rising, has more and more obstacles in the way of your main character, stakes are high, thrills the audience, surprises us and so much more, and leads us to a satisfying ending. Make sure to properly choreograph your story.
3. CHOICES: Are you placing your characters in tough situations? Are you presenting dilemmas to your characters that gets the reader asking themselves what they would do if they were in the same scenario as the character? We see the strength of your main character by how they react when they are presented with difficult situations and the decisions they make during those tough moments. Help us respect your characters for their perseverance, endurance, skills and other characteristics that come through as a result of the scenarios you’ve presented.
4. CHARISMA: The online dictionary definition for charisma is; a compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in other. Another definition is; a divinely conferred power or talent. I love the second definition better.
As a writer, you have a talent with your words and imagination. Never forget that. If you are still trying to figure out where your strengths are as a writer, that’s totally fine, but you need to write more so that you can find yourself soon. It took me years of writing to discover that I have a natural hand in comedy and this knowledge helped me infuse it in all the shows I’ve worked on, be it comedies like Jastorina and Sue and Johnny, or dramedies like Pray and Prey, Nyumba 10, or Soaps like Mali and Kona, Edutainment Dramas like Makutano Junction. I always find a way to bring in some laughter into my writing, which has given me an upper hand so many times. You need to quickly find out what your strengths are and work that strength because it is your gift from God! So, ask yourself what your strength is and go for it!
5. CLIMAX: How you end your film, TV show or Book is as important as how you start, if not more important. Why is this the case? If you give a satisfying ending, the result is that reviews by those who consume your content will lead to more fans because they will spread word. If you have a poor ending, that’s what they’ll remember. You must finish right, so make sure you put in a lot of thought, heart and soul into your ending because it will make or break you. Ending right doesn’t mean a happy ending, it simply means a satisfying ending, one that is believable and not farfetched, one that stays true to everything you had set up and not false surprises for the sake of surprising the reader.
I hope these 5C tips help you on your writing journey.
Happy Writing and Creating!
Please share this article with a friend or two who are interested in writing! TIA