THRUST

I read somewhere, can’t remember where, that the way to tell a story is to hit the ground running and don’t stop until you reach the end.  That’s a pretty good definition of thrust.

Even though my stories aren’t fast-paced thrill rides, I always try to do precisely that… hit the ground running and not stop until I reach the end… because it prevents my characters from becoming boring and my readers from skipping parts of my story because they aren’t relevant.

As you might guess, my stories do tend to go straight from beginning to end with no side trips and they have fewer characters than many stories have because extraneous characters take away from the story. Nor do I often include a lot of icing or window dressing.  I know many readers love the extras that come with fiction and, yes, sometimes I give in and provide a lot of background.  (Hint:  Wanted Sharpshooter is one such story.)  But generally, I try not to stray.

Think about it.  If you are chasing the end as hard as you can, you pass up all those tempting side trails without even seeing them.  And you end up telling the story you set out to tell.   All without boring the reader.

This isn’t for everyone.  Some of us do our best writing by using a meandering method that takes us to unexpected places… places that are both wonderful and glorious and that we didn’t know existed until we took that side trip.  For the rest of us… we writers who don’t stumble into Nirvana… hitting the ground running and not stopping until you reach the end is a good way to give your readers the story you want them to have.