Finding your angle can be the most challenging and rewarding aspect of the writing and editing process. Here are some ideas to help you find your angle in a piece of writing.
1) What makes you you?
Which elements of your experience and unique perspective couldn’t possibly be present in someone else’s story?
2) What original details do you see in your story?
Collecting original details: “If you ask a group of people to write about the contents of their closet, each person would likely approach the same subject from a different angle.” Adair Lara offers more tips to help you find your specific angle and gather the details you need for your story.
3) How can you mine your personal history for just the right angle?
Finding fodder in your own life:
Dig into memories of “magical” childhood adventures.
Tap into your inner world of dreams.
Think about the experiences that have moved, affected, or changed you.
Recall fleeting, unexpected encounters.
Consider your peculiar passions, esoteric interests, and pet peeves.
4) Once you’ve got detail, look even closer — a new angle may be waiting to surprise you.
Take a page out of Amy Tan’s book. She finds new details by looking closely at familiar items.
Identifying new angles in the familiar:
Revisit old diary pages or letters and compare past you and present you.
Research an event you once attended to gather big picture details and to place yourself within it.
Compare notes with others who were also there.
“Build up” a memory with outside sources — then see where and how your perspective fits.
5) Consider using an object as a way “in” to the story.