Friday, October 15, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere (Blog Action Day)

What does water have to do with storytelling?  The short answer is that, surely, an element as integral to life as water has to do with pretty much everything.  Another would be that water is often a symbolic element, but I prefer to use such things with great caution, lest I start telling allegories instead of stories.  So what I'll look at instead is what water might mean to your character(s).  For example:
  • Does the drip, drip, drip of the faucet sound like the tick, tick, tick of a clock?
  • Is rain something that locks your character up inside, or something that brings cleansing and new life?
  • Is the ocean an entity that takes life, provides livelihood, or provides freedom?
  • Does your character enjoy unlimited tap water, just one more thing he can glut himself on?  Or is she in an area where water is scarce and precious?
  • Does he splash through puddles or gingerly step around them?
Water is something we all have experience with, a tangible common denominator that we can all relate to.  So, anytime you feel your work getting too abstract or intellectual, coming back to water can help ground your work.

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