“Writing is a reflective act. Everything you put down on paper needs to mean something”, Pablo says. He thinks that the story becomes more authentic if it comes from an internal and personal place. “If you feel what is happening in the story, your readers will also do it”, he thinks.
Pablo tips ths students to dig into social issues, to find out who they themselves, their families and communities are. Pablo also thinks the students can use various aesthetic expressions to find out about themselves. “It is all about embracing stories, allow how they are telling you something internal and find out what that internal thing is.”
When a story is written, Pablo thinks that you can not change it. You need to let go of it, out in the world, where it belongs. If you want to change anything, you need to do it in your next story. You learn from experiences, but can only move forward: “Next time you do it!”
The characters in a story need to have a reason to why they exist. When you are writing, ask yourself: What are the characters doing? What are they telling about themselves? In what way are they personal for you? What are their questions and motivations?
How do the characters view the outside world and how does that change throughout the story? To create characters’ developments, you need to put things on the character, Pablo says. To keep records of the characters it is therefore good to keep a sketch outline for each one of the characters, where you keep and take notes about them. To start with you need know who the characters are, where they come from, what their motivation and contributions to the story are.
“The epic fail of Arturo Zamora is not a biography, but it still contains a lot of pieces of me”, Pablo thinks. It is about a warrior’s journey to celebrate the memory of his maternal grandparents, make his own voice heard and save the family’s business. The camera angles capturing the plot starts a bit far away and then comes closer.
In The epic fail of Arturo Zamora the main thread is Arturo’s relation with his grandmother. To create this, Pablo was using his own relationship with his grandmother, that did not look the same though.
In Each tiny spark the main character Emilia, becomes friend with a girl who’s mum is racist, which creates one of the main conflicts in the novel. The background to why the mum is racist is that her husband died in a war in another country. She can not find a job, lives in a part of the city with many immigrants and then for no reason blames immigrants for her misfortune. There is no excuse for that. The mum’s false accusations makes Emilia aware of segregation and tensions between white people and latinx people. She also learns about unfair immigration laws and to be proud of her mum’s Afro-Cuban roots.
In Marcus Vega doesn’t speak Spanish Marcus is overprotective to his brother because his father left the family when Marcus only was 2 years old. So Marcus thinks that he needs to be the father for his brother. That is the internal conflict in that novel.
To create a narrative from personal experience, write down the following:
- A character’s name.
- A general place like a country and city.
- A specific place, like an office, a shop, in a sofa or similar.
- Ask yourself: What is the character doing?
Use internal observations to find out what the characters is doing. Look up or look around to come up with ideas. This will then help you to find out more about your character. Where the character is and what he or she is doing is saying something about him or her.
Now it is time for another character to enter the room and story. Who is this character? Give him or her a name and describe what he or she looks like.
When the other character is walking into the room, where the first character is located, he or she says something in a language as the first character does not understand. This creates a conflict, because the first character does not understand the other character.
Now it is time to write down the language the other character does not understand. If you need to use a phrase dictionary, please do so. Then write down the conflict as a dialogue in four lines. This dialogue will help your readers to understand what is going on between the characters.
Then a third character enters the room, insult the second character and the first character react to this. Write down these scenes. Why are the characters acting as they are doing? What is going on inside them?
Conflicts have to exist, smaller as well as bigger, because stories always build on conflicts. They are also important to storytelling and decide how stories will resolve or end.