Do you write forward or backward?

When you see a homeless individual do you wonder how they became homeless or how they will get through the next day? Your answer can shed some light on how you write.

People tend to examine the world around them in one of two ways: prologue or epilogue. If you are not convinced here is another example: If you see an abused animal do you wonder who committed the cruelty or how you can help? In that split second when you bare witness do you assign blame or rescue?

As we write it’s easy to place more weight on either motivation or resolution when we need to seek a balance. In the example above I believe that anyone with a heart would both assign blame and rescue if given the time to absorb all of the details of the situation. Yet when we write we rarely give ourselves time to reflect on our chosen topic. Deadlines, either mandated or self-imposed, too often dictate the completion of a project.

Consider the next time you see a news segment showing someone in crisis. Whichever view you normally take, back-story or resolution, consider providing the opposite with greater weight. Give it a try for a week. Now apply this process to your writing and you will be telling a complete story in no time.

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