Writing tip 11. How I write.

Let’s go farming. 

Okay, so no one goes farming. I have never heard that term used anywhere but here we go. We are going farming because of one of my favourite topics. 

I have not talked much about “planting seeds” I am sure it is not an actual term but it should be if it isn’t. I refer to this as planting seeds because it is actually leaving clues throughout a movie script or your book. It’s the little things like Larry living on the streets. A man lives on the streets so he must have seen things, done things that could, would or should come back to haunt him or help him. 

A rich man giving a homeless man money each day shows his character. The homeless man can come around in the future as a helper for your story. Same thing with a man giving up his seat on the bus. Or a woman helping a child that nearly gets hit by a car. These incidents give you the writer and the reader something to think about. The rich man may lose everything in the story and a homeless man teaches him the ropes on the streets in the future. 

That is what I call plantings seeds. In my novel Indebted, I show the character of a recently released man from prison as he changes a tire for a woman in the rain. He just got out of prison and he does good. In the future, these characters can meet again. Give yourself an in or an out from situations and let those seeds grow. Sometimes you can revisit those seeds and see how they have changed or grown over the course of the novel or the script. This also works well for a story with multiple plots. 

As two or three through lines connect and disconnect it can help strengthen the story. A mechanic who takes care of customers’ cars can connect and disconnect in a story. The mechanic could have his own story of being an addict but he loves his job. He is, unfortunately, a bit troubled and a lawyer that he has helped out comes to his rescue or demise. Planting these seeds can come at any time in the story. If you watch most American movies, the characters are all usually introduced early. A big barbecue brings the whole family together. In a book, this could be tedious to explain to everyone at once. In a movie, we can show uncle Buck picking his nose and pulling out nose hairs. In a book, we would need to explain in a quirky way uncle Buck is a strange dude. 

By explaining, we are giving hints and clues and at the same time, like the homeless man we can come back to uncle Buck and explain that he is a crazy inventor with millions and people are always trying to kill him for the inheritance. 

This is why I love planting seeds. They are your helpers; they are your personal assistant in times of hitting that wall when you know that your brain may not be working at full capacity. It becomes fun to pull out those plants that have flourished from the beginning to the middle and it gives you characters to work with. 

It has happened to me several times in a book and a script when a character grew on me. One such occasion was an old doctor in a soap opera and another was a couple that ended up getting a full-time gig on a soap opera. You love the characters and occasionally you fall for them and do not want to let them go. 

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Published by Zsolt Zsemba

Zsolt Zsemba has worn many different hats. He has been an entrepreneur, and businessman for over 30 years. Living abroad has given him many amazing experiences in life and also sparked his imagination for writing. After moving to Canada from Hungary at the age of 10 and working in a family business for a large part of his life. The switch from manufacturing to writing came surprisingly easily for him. His passion for writing began at age 12, mostly writing poetry and short stories. In 1999, the chance came to write scripts. Zsolt took some time off from his family business to write in Jakarta Indonesia for MD Entertainment. Having written dozens of soap operas and made for TV movies, in 2003 Zsolt returned to the family business once more. In 2018, he had the chance to head back to Asia once again. He took on the challenge to be the COO for MD Pictures and get back into the entertainment business. The entertainment business opened up the desire to write once more and the words began to flow onto the pages again. He decided to rewrite a book he began years ago. Organ House was reborn and is a fiction suspense novel while Scars is a young adult drama focused on life’s challenges. After the first two books, his desire to write not only became more challenging but enjoyable as well. After having several books completed he was convinced to publish them for your enjoyment. Zsolt does not tend to stay in one specific genre but tends to lean towards strong female leads and horror. Though he also has a few human interest books, he tends to write about whatever brews in his brain for a while.

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