The Fawn Factor


Over the past few days I have watched a lot of authors talking about where best to make a start with a story or novel. All have had differences and it has been these differences that have proved enriching. You see, it is clear to me that all writers need to approach this in a way that will suit them (hence the differences).

I remember reading that C.S.Lewis often said that he had an image in his mind long before any concept of Narnia ever surfaced. It was of a fawn carrying an umbrella and meeting up with a little girl in a snow-coated wood.  It is easy to see how such an idea would endure and appeal. Consider the many possibilities, only one of which was ever explored in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ so many years later by Lewis himself.

I am not suggesting all writers should have a fawn in their story but I do think that ‘the fawn factor’ has a lot to offer. Namely, to start with a key image or scene that may already be written in one’s head in some detail. This would give the writer the tone for the entire story and help make a start on characters and setting. The outline would generate from this one scene that is so vivid. It could even be that in the end the ‘faun scene’ is removed from the story altogether but it has done its job and served to stimulate the writer to create more.

Just as with music, writing needs a tone, a timbre…ranging from light hearted, even flippant to more serious. Perhaps ‘the fawn factor’ would help the writer realise the tone needed more easily.


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