Who? What? When? Where? Why? Taste. Touch. Smell. Hear. See.
The vital components of any story, fiction or non-fiction. Show don’t tell. Do this. No do this. You can’t say that. You can’t do this.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for several years, basically the second I found out they had spell and grammar check. I have always had thoughts, feelings and opinions on everything. When I’m being overly blunt my mom laughs and points into the distance. “Mom,” She says, “look how fat that lady is!”
Apparently when I was four I said this at the grocery store and she was shocked. She fought her urge to pick me up and abandon our cart full of food. Instead she bent down to my level and told me that the woman wasn’t fat, she was curvy and beautiful in her own right.
The woman didn’t like this. She wanted me to be raked over the coals because she was offended. My mom responded, “My son made an observation. He had no effect on you. He did not decide your weight, eating or exercise habits or even your glandular issues or family history that may have led to your curvy physique. He expressed himself and I am proud that I have raised someone who can express themselves.”
Or something like that. It changes every time she tells the story. Regardless it has stuck with me. I am who I am and I should express myself but I should do it in a way that doesn’t hurt someone else, physically or emotionally. I should have some tact.
Writing is kind of like that. If you eventually want someone, somewhere to see it, or even if there’s just a teeny tiny chance that someone may, you shouldn’t let it hinder your expression, but you should at least attempt to have some tact.
You should flourish in the thought that someone will agree with you and you shouldn’t let the people who want you to be raked over the coals stop you. At the same time you shouldn’t give the coal people any extra ammo. If it matters to you and you feel strongly about it, shout it from the roof tops, but be ready to defend yourself and everything that makes you what you are.
So those are my slightly circular thoughts. Hopefully you don’t have a head ache. Also hopefully the people who agree will shout louder than those who don’t.
Controversy is conflict. Without conflict, story doesn’t exist.