Do you have a story in mind? One you want to tell? Let’s talk today about the first draft of your story. Here’s what you need to remember–keep zooming out.
First, write down everything you can remember about the story you want to tell. You can think through the questions reporters use when telling a story: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Capture it all.
Then, zoom out. What details have you never noticed before? If, for example, you’re writing about the day your son was born, chances are your story would include details from your perspective. But if you zoom out, what do you notice? Who else was in the room? What was on the TV in the background? How was the furniture arranged? Did the room have a window and was is day time or night time?
Then zoom out more. Were you at a hospital? How far away from your room was the waiting room? Who was in the waiting room? What was on that TV? Was there a snack machine?
Zoom out even more. Who else knew you were at the hospital giving birth? What were they doing while you were there? What was the major news story of the day?
When you zoom out, you remember details you may not have thought were important, but that really add to the story.
Finally, walk away. Shut down the computer. Watch a movie. Go to sleep.
Get some distance from your story, because tomorrow, we edit.