you're reading...
adventure, art, creativity, discovery, story, writing

Inspired: What fiction writers learn from Michelangelo and Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones

Legend has it that Michelangelo conducted autopsies to heighten his understanding, and thus his art, of the human body. Fiction writers must also conduct autopsies, though their subjects are stories. Compelling, intricate, luscious stories.

I’m reading and watching a lot of fiction as I prepare to write Where the Light Enters during National Novel Writing Month. As I read and watch, I sketch the story. At the end of every scene, I answer these questions:

  • Whose POV is represented?
  • What happens?
  • What did I learn about the characters and the story?
  • What were the interesting turns of phrase and images?
  • What did I learn about the characters through their actions?
  • How did it end?
  • What questions am I asking that move me to keep reading and watching?

At the end, I answer these questions:

  • What was the story about?
  • What happened?
  • Who’s story is it?
  • Do I care and if so, why?
  • What questions remain?
  • Did I get what was promised at the beginning of the story? And what was it?

This exercise is immensely valuable and fun.Like Indiana Jones, an archeologist who digs in the dirt for buried treasure, I’m discovering the bone structure, value, and meaning of the words that comprise page-turning books.

What have your learned about writing from reading?

About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


No comments yet.

I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Translate this blog to another language

Follow Me On Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

My Goodreads

Follow me on Instagram

Despite a rocky start, it turned out to be quite a beautiful day in @CentralParkNYC. "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." -William Shakespeare #centralparkmoments

RSS Breaking Bread Podcast on Soundcloud

  • Ringing in the holidays with DC's Food & Friends May 17, 2017
    Check out my uplifting podcast episode featuring Food & Friends, one of my favorite organizations in D.C. Please feel free to spread this good news far and wide! Food & Friends provides one million specialized nutritious meals a year in the greater D.C. area to individuals and families who are undergoing treatment for HIV / AIDS and cancer, and those […]
  • Interview with DC's Capital Area Food Bank May 17, 2017
    The Capital Area Food Bank supports 444 food-based organizations in the D.C. area who in turn help hundreds of thousands of our neighbors every year who face food insecurity on a daily basis. It’s an inspiring story about food as a social justice issue, the fight to end hunger, and our ability to help our city grow stronger and healthier together.
Follow Me on Pinterest
%d bloggers like this: