You’ve heard about “pantsters and plotters.” Pantsters allow their ideas and characters to lead them and “plotters” carefully outline everything before they write. But what do you know about “diggers,” those who dig deep, peeling away the layers of their ideas searching for a slant they hadn’t thought of?
1. get down to the roots of their stories and discover what’s there. Imagine what the roots of your story look like. Are they weak and shallow or deep, strong and reaching out into the soil? Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? Digging for the answers to these questions strengthens your story’s plot.
2. use their five senses. If your story were a person, place, or thing, how would it Look? Sound? Feel? Taste? Smell? Unearthing these answers helps you to dig deeper into your story’s theme(s).
3. find buried feelings and emotions. Strengthen your characters by digging deeper into yourself where your strongest feelings are buried. Don’t be afraid to go there. Assign those feelings to your characters, then allow them to do what you might—or might not.
4. become armchair historians. Obviously, stories set in the 20th Century or beyond won’t have the same slant as today’s social and moral issues. Toughen your setting by digging up facts about your story’s era. Go deeper than clothing, food, tools and technologies. Dig down to the roots of the political, religious, and moral environment.
5. dig deep to soothe their souls. Diggers not only search for inspiration, but also for guidance, encouragement and rest. Those who believe in God dig deep into His Word (the bible) for these things. Others dig somewhere else. Finding guidance, encouragement and rest renews your strength when you are tired of digging and writing, or are just plain tired.
So, there you have it—the diggers’ writing method.
Which one are you, a pantster, a plotter, a digger, or something else?
Just for fun. The writing life is a lot like this:
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