Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Story Seeds / Writing Tips #11 - Small but Telling Moments 

The Seed: One of the things that totally intrigues me about life is the way in which the big events -- the holidays, birthdays, grand weddings or ceremonial graduations -- are often not what one remembers as being the truly significant times.  The truly "telling" moments, at least in my experience, are often small and intimate. They are touched with mystery and occur when you least expect them. Occasionally  humorous. Definitely many-layered. And always sincere.
(c) 2013 Ruth Ohi
The Book: The Best of Arlie Zack (Annick Press1991, illustrations by Ruth Ohi, novel ages 8 - 11)

The Writing Tip: There are times when one needs to allow a story to grow outward.  But some stories, like this one, fold inward right from the start.
           I still used my notebooks, per last week's posting. But it wasn't a single idea seed that sprouted.  Instead scattered bits and pieces from many spots in different notebooks began to knit themselves together. Each had a small telling moment at its core.  And because those kinds of moments always hint at something deeper, it wasn't long before other half-remembered bits and pieces from childhood came to join them, each with its own small and perfect magic.  
         With no single succinct writing tip to be pulled easily from its pages, I almost skipped this novel entirely for the purpose of this blog. But I decided to include it as a reminder - to myself as much as to others - that stories have endless ways of coming into existence. 
        I've also included it because one of the many symbols in the novel -- the mysterious, dark and cluttered basement through which Arlie must eventually find his way -- suggests that deep dream-scape where so much of all our creativity lies.

(c) All Rights Reserved. All blog text(except comments by others) copyright Hazel Hutchins.

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