Vision in Fiction

I’m constantly trying to improve my writing skills, checking out books on writing, seeking websites on the subject and even attending author showcases. All so that I might get better in something I enjoy doing. The other day I came across this quote from T. S. Elliot

Do I dare disturb the universe?

Isn’t that what we do as writers, try to disturb the universe with our fictional renderings?  The burning question for any writer is how to get your story to a wider audience.  I’ve read from online magazines, to author blogs that there are three things essential to todays crowded marketplace. A good story should have vision, voice and vulnerability.

Let’s look at vision today. One might say, vision is the ability to develop a high concept story idea, but what does that really mean? I think it’s the ability to shake up your audience, to enchant your readers with insights and specifics, granting them that moment of heart-rendering joy

A strong vision answer the question, “So What?”

Why should a reader care about your book, characters, theme?

What is new, fresh, scary,  or compelling that will make a reader pick up your story?

The most important thing a writer can do to answer that question, is to make sure their story is specific, written to the most emotional outcome. The more heart-rending the better. Who cares about the nice girl next door, when there is a killer on a rampage knocking at your door, or a child that has lived in 4×4 box with little to eat, finally escaping.  Readers want that larger than life character that faces enormous struggles, that succeed or fail in there effort. Characters that struggle, that make it through all odds, make us feel alive.

As writers, we should touch the reader where they live, reach for their very souls. All while letting our stories show the richness of the human experience and its possibilities. We should push our ideas to the limit, go to unexpected directions , throw everything horrible  we can at our characters and pull them back from the brink. Push our characters reach, have them looking deep for answers.  Search out ways we can exaggerate our character’s look, background, emotional background, actions.  Deepen the basic theme of the story, make it worst, bad, ugly. All of this will make for a better story.

By increasing  our vision for our story, we will enchant our readers toward that satisfying end while answering the question “So What?”

Copyright © 2013 Glynis Rankin

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