Tag Archives: italian

What is the most challenging part of a story to write?

What is the most challenging part of a story to write?

The beginning in the beginning

When you first start writing, the easiest part is the beginning, or at least it’s what you think. Words flow so quickly that you feel you have a gift, and maybe you actually have. The issue is, when you let someone (not your mom and dad) read it, most of the time, they do THAT face.

Which face?

You know what face I’m speaking about, the lost look. Why is that? You start wondering if the story has a sense at all, and then you start questioning everything, even the editor trying to help you. The only solution is to take a step back and re-read everything, following the advice of the experts.

Beginners

So, I answered the first question, I think. The most challenging part of a story to write is the beginning when you are a beginner. The first line is so difficult to write that it takes 25% of my time, even nowadays. That line presents your book to the reader, and nothing will change that. The reader will understand your style and what the story is about just by reading that first line.

Now, I went to a book presentation a few days ago. Friendly atmosphere, cool people. Then, I bought a book copy and sat waiting for the discussion to start. I arrived there without preconceptions, open to discovering a lovely book and a new author.

Then, I opened the first page

The book was well-edited; no problem with that. I focused on the first line. Horrible, simply horrible. I closed my eyes, breathed and I tried again. Nope, still horrific. A nightmare for anyone who had ever written something, that first line told me, “run from this place”. Still, I tried my best not to run. I thought, “maybe I’m wrong; let’s give her another chance”. 

And I did

The most useless hour I ever spent, believe me. The writer and the other two presenters started speaking about how skilled the author is. Also, they couldn’t avoid talking about how magic was the love story (apparently, if there’s no love story, there’s no book, they said) and other incredibly dull things.

What did I discover?

I discovered that you need to read many good books, but even more bad first lines, too. First, a bad first line wants to tell you something clever but doesn’t show you anything. Something like “George was walking in a garden full of roses, the smell of the paradise and the colour of passion”. After a while, you will understand how important the first line is. Phew.

If you’re still asking yourself what is the most challenging part of a story to write, here’s the answer, then. This doesn’t mean it’s always the most difficult part. In the example of the bad start, the author forgot to mention something important, questions. Questions are something you cannot forget when you’re writing anything. Questions bring answers, and answers get other questions. 

Show, don’t tell

Show, don't tell, graphic by Daniele Frau.
Show, don’t tell.

In an excellent short video by Film Courage, Glenn Gers gives the six questions that you never have to forget when writing fiction.

  1. What this story is about?
  2. What is that they want?
  3. Why they cannot get it?
  4. What do they do about that?
  5. Why it doesn’t work?
  6. How does it end?

These macro questions lead to many others in something similar to fractals or the famous snowflake method

What is this story about? A man in his forties that never left his room. 

Why did he never leave his room? Where does he live? Does he live alone? How is it possible that he never left his room? How big is his room?

And so on, you got my point.

Let’s continue to speak about it in the following article!

In the meantime, have a look at my stories on Flyingstories.org.

Read, write, explore!

Daniele Frau

The Ozarks

The importance of writing well

A few people don’t know The Ozark. I started watching this successful series and asked myself what the secret behind that was.

Why was I so drawn into it, and why were the characters in Ozark so engaging?

Then, I watched the interviews with the cast, and there wasn’t a single one that didn’t mention the quality of the screenwriting.

I quote one of the actors:

“Thanks to Bill, I was able to explore my character. I knew perfectly well what I had to do, how I had to interpret my character.”

So, how important is the writing?

Fundamental

Writing is essential for the actors to be more confident in acting their roles and it is critical for the audience to be completely engaged in the fiction world prepared for them.

How many times have we spoken about the importance of reading?

The importance of reading.
The importance of reading.

So many times, I lost the count.

It’s not just about reading, but it’s mainly about understanding more about the world surrounding us and shaping it through reading. Writing has to come naturally, as a form of expressing what it would need too much time to tell by simple words.

 Every time I start writing, I don’t enter another dimension, but I remain silent and hear my thoughts flowing. Someone uses some techniques to relax, but I try to focus on techniques only when creating good characters

I study every day how to improve my writing, make it more or less dense, raise the hairbows of the audience in curiosity, and create something really, genuinely original.

Go back to the future, story by Daniele Frau.

But then, as every writer would say, you need to read, you need to experience, and you need to write. If you read and experience, but you don’t write, your hands get rusty after a while, and you start overthinking.

Remember when I told you I don’t go to another dimension while writing? 

I lied.

Yes, of course, I go to another dimension, I hear my thoughts and I have to work on them to express my ideas. However, I have to come back to my steps and make that inner voice sound more natural, engaging and understandable.

So, thanks to The Ozarks, for reminding one again how important is good writing. To remind me that what I do every day has a significant impact.

Writers from Sardinia?

How big is this island?

Every day I meet people from all over the world (yes, even now that we’re living in Covid-19times). The question that people ask me more often is:

How comes you have your own language in Sardinia?

Yes, believe me, this question has been asked so many times that if they gave me 1 penny for each time I heard it… well, you know Bill Gates? He would be just a poor guy selling shoes if compared to me.

A complex island

The answer is yes, obviously. Sardinia has its own language, an history so complex and different from the Italian one, not to mention it is enormous. I mean it, it’s huge. When I think that the most famous nations-islands in the Mediterranian Sea, as Cyprus or Malta are respectively 9251 square km and 316 square km, I think it makes sense that we have a peculiar language in Sardinia (which is over 24 thousand square km). This idiom is called Sardo, or Sardinian.

Sardinian writers Daniele Frau graphics

I’m not going through with the history of Sardinia and its language. There’s so much literature about it that it would take my entire blog just to start the topic. Let’s summarise what Sardinian produced culturally in the last 100 years or so.

The star

Let’s start with the star: Grazia Deledda. She was born in 1871, and in 1926 this amazing woman received a Nobel Prize for literature. If this information doesn’t shock you, think about the fact that at the time she was only the second woman ever winning the prize. Furthermore, she was the first Italian woman in history to receive it. Interesting, huh?

Many others

You can quickly check the incredible number of writers Sardinia produced over the centuries. They spoke about what being a shepherd means, or to serve in the countryside since you’re just a child. They also wrote about the First World War, and more recently, with Accabbadora by Michela Murgia, you can jump in the reality of Sardinia in the Fifties.

Furthermore, these fantastic writers wrote in Italian, considered for a long time a second language in Sardinia. When I was a child (not so long ago), it was easy to meet old people speaking broken Italian, but fluent when they had to talk in Sardinian. Even though Sardinian was considered illegal to be used in schools for a long time, it was still used in everyday life. Nowadays, Sardinian is coming back to life, thanks to the hard work of many historians, linguists, and intellectuals.

What it means to come from an island?

As everything else, being from a fantastic island as Sardinia brings positive and negative outcomes. One of the negative ones is to be isolated from everything and culturally marginalized. The percentage of Sardinian with a university instruction level is one of the lowest in Italy, and with the crisis, the situation would only get worse.

That said, I hope next time you’ll hear in Sardinia they have their own language you won’t ask the same, one- penny, question.

Which stories Daniele Frau wrote? Have a look!

The urge to read

A book is a journey

I was six years old, I was sitting in my room when I realized that reading was the indestructible boat I needed to explore every ocean in the world. It didn’t mean I didn’t need to move. Most of the people start with the assumption that reading is quite dull and static activity, although I thought the opposite. I felt it back then, and I still believe this is true.

A book makes you travel

Reading must be more than just taking ideas passively from a stranger. It must be a journey, an adventure. And as any traveler experienced, you end up penniless (tickets costs, as well as books, have a price), but empowered. The experience, the travel you just made, must give you memories you’d use in times of need.

A good book

What a good book is, then, it’s all about your taste. A few days ago a colleague of mine told me: 

My favorite writer ever is J.K. Rowling.

This is the kind of reader I’d call an emotional reader. It doesn’t matter the style, the message of the story, the layers the writer carefully put one over the other. No, the essential part is how she felt when she was young, and she read those lines for the first time. That journey never ceased for her.

What a great book looks like?

So it’s time to see another critical expression: this is a great book. Think about the travel, which travel do you remember as a great one, and what do you recollect as being just ok? The same stands for reading a book. The great books are the ones that, for different reasons, opened a small door, let us cry or laugh, comforted us like a good friend.

The lake

I called the book a journey, but I can say it’s a lake as well. What a story and a lake have in common?

And a matryoshka? Keep reading, and you’ll discover soon!

Daniele Frau

Flyingstories

A new blog!

A new Blog

ricette
Ricette

Ciblog

I’ve made a new blog, Ciblog. All graphics are mine and original, made using the app Canvas. This app is so useful and you are able after few minutes to create something really astonishing! It’s up to you and your imagination.

My blog

My first blog is about my cooperative, SSP Coop, based in Cagliari and Rome, since 2013. I translate from English and Arabic to Italian and with SSP (you can find it on FB and Linkedin, too) I’m able to customize marketing strategies, or simply blogs and sites experience.

Why not?

So, why don’t you send me an e-mail or call me via Skype? (my account is SHA3RUTHEPOET). Let’s try my services, from translation to operative marketing!

Daniele Frau