What is the story you want to tell?
I was thinking about this question the other day as I considered my next writing project and realized that this single question, is probably the most important question any writer can ask theirselves.
Normally, I get an idea, sketch out some characters, and begin writing. I seriously have no clue about the story I want to tell. I just have all these jumbled thoughts dancing around in my head and try to form them into a coherent form as my fingers quick-step across the keyboard.
This pretty much works for me.
As we all know, there are various blogs out there with certain questions we should ask ourselves during the writing process. Those are some great questions, I've written about them before, and am too dang lazy right here/now to link to them. Sorry, I'm typing this post early on a Saturday morning when I should be in bed, but . . . ahhh, my lovely cocker spaniel Jesse (one half of the dynamic cocker spaniel duo known as Jesse and James) doesn't realize it's the weekend and doesn't need to be walked at 6:30 AM!
Anyhow, I really think (better late than never), the main, most important, most significant question of all is: What is the story you want to tell?
With one project, I wanted to strip away the stereotypes of society and show the true nature of a group of people, rather than the inaccurate stereotypical media portrayal of a group of people.
I did just that, in no uncertain terms. That was what I was thinking about yesterday when the question occurred to me.
I also realized, while the story I told was, well, uh, brilliant . . . there were more stories still to tell, more avenues to explore along the same lines as that project, though perhaps not written in the same style of that project.
So, as I sit down to consider what's next in what will be a very lengthy writing career, the first and foremost question I'm asking myself - before characters, setting, anything - is: what is the story I want to tell with this particular project?
How about you? Do you ask yourself this question before you even begin the brain-storming for a project? Before the characters spring to life in your mind and on paper? Do you consider this question at all?