It’s not often that those management techniques they tell you about at work prove useful, particularly not outside the workplace. However, there was one recently that got me thinking about writing.
As ever, it’s nothing new, it’s just presented in a way to grab your attention, but this grabbed mine. Draw a six-pointed star. Write who, what, why, when, where, how in the tips. Now generate questions starting with each, relating to your latest story idea.
Who gains from the death of the old woman?
What was in the letter the ginger-haired man was reading on the train?
Why didn’t the dog bark?
When did the waitress really go outside for a cigarette, never mind what she said in front of her boss?
Where is the money that was on the table?
How did anyone get in without disturbing the dust?
These are the sort of things you should be thinking about anyway, but I know I always overlook something, and every so often I’ll be a thousand words in and then think ‘but why did she do that?’ and the whole thing falls apart. So given that you could make this star quite decorative, why not pin one up in your writing room/corner as a reminder.