"Over the past few months, from the many private messages I daily receive and the questions asked, the most common relate to the mechanics of constructing a story. So, in response I decided that I would recount what I used to tell the students who attended my creative writing courses in the past.
I am blown away each time I randomly pick up a book and cannot put it down until I've read the last word. I'm blown away whenever I see some art or craft that it has taken the skill of a lifetime and numerous hours to produce being sold for mere pennies. I am blown away every time I see an extremely busy person give their time to the needs of a stranger, simply because that is what the stranger most needs at that precise time. There are so many things in this life that simply amazes and blows me away that testify to the innate generosity and goodness, the courage and craft, the care and concern of one person towards another.
I was blown away as a child when I thought that old age was so far away that I would never reach it. My childlike brain got blown away each time I flicked an electric switch and the room lit up, the radio and television came on, or when I first flushed the loo and my pooh magically disappeared down a rabbit hole in the toilet basin.
Falling in love most certainly blew away my sanity and kept me on cloud nine until rejection or rationale brought me back down to earth. Seeing my children born blew me away and now that they are all past the age of thirty, I am blown away by the fact that they can spend more today on a night out than I earned in a week before I was forty!
I am blown away by the actual cost of a university education or the price of a modest house today and particularly by the staggering difference in lifestyles between the wealthiest and poorest people in any country in the world.
I am especially blown away whenever I see the wonder in the eyes of a child as they observe the curiosities of nature with great scrutiny or a twinkle in the eyes of an old man or woman as they watch their middle-aged child learn the lesson today that their mother tried but failed to teach them in their childhood forty years earlier.
Of all the things that ever blew me away, however, was the day that I became an apprentice to a word sorcerer who revealed the magic process involved in becoming a writer. This secret process I now blow across the room to you with a kiss of affection:
(1) Think of an idea for your story.
(2) Imagine your story in a sequence of pictures; each picture representing the words written in one paragraph of your book.
(3)Write down the words of your paragraph on a blank sheet of paper that correspond with the picture you have formed in your mind and repeat this process until every page and chapter of your book is complete.
When you have taken these three steps, give the book you have written to your reader. Your finished book in effect becomes your magic wand that you have passed over. It then becomes the turn of your reader to complete the magic process by stirring their imagination. The magic process starts as soon as they open the book and turn the first page to read, by transferring the words and images that first commenced inside your head into theirs.
(1) First, the reader reads the words of the writer and allows those words to switch on their imagination.
(2) Next, when the reader's imagination has been switched on, the magic begins to take over and the writer's words on the page are instantly transformed back into a picture for each paragraph of the book that is read. The better the writer's match between words and image in each paragraph, the easier the magic spell works.
(3) By the time that the book has been read, the reader has a jolly good notion what idea and image the writer had inside their head when they wrote every paragraph of their finished story.
Now that is a process that really blows me away and that is why I love being an author! The power to lead the reader up one path and down another, make them laugh or cry, or change their prevailing mood from frivolous to serious; all within the short space of a few words or the odd throw-away line. All this I hope will help preserve the old grey matter between my ears a while longer until the memory starts to fade and my ability to construct the correct words starts to fail.
That is why I started to make my 'Thought for today' an everyday exercise over four years ago, and when my words match the picture in my daily post in as close a manner as possible, I know that magic is still at play." William Forde: November 7th, 2016.