I try thinking about new ways I can play around with storytelling. I’ve often said that the stories that inspire me the most are the ones that have moments of brilliance. I’m not talking award-winning prose here… I’m talking about moments of damn, I wish I’d written that!
Like the above gif, from Fullmetal Alchemist, where Edward Elric uses his alchemical powers (major character trait) to not just pull the atoms of metal from the nearby pipes (major ability) but to reshape it (another major ability) into a rod that he can use for fighting. Moments where three or four separate character traits come together in creative and sometimes unexpected ways, and propel both character and story forward. It’s both a moment of clarity for the viewer (‘aha, that’s right, he can do that!’) and a moment of action for the story (‘oh man, he’s about to beat someone’s ass, isn’t he?’) and it’s all threaded together beautifully in one five-second moment.
I try to work those kinds of moments into my stories when I can. I try to put a spin on them as well, by not always relying on expectations. That way when these seemingly different points come together, it’s often unexpected. Those are my favorite moments to read and watch, and they’re definitely my favorite to write.
Mind you, the story doesn’t have to have wall-to-wall moments like that. But they’re certainly one of my favorite weapons in my writing arsenal.