Friday, May 14, 2010

Hang On But Not Too Tight

Happy Friday All,

We writers are told to believe in our stories, but also be willing to "let go". This means we have to love what we write, but we also have to be willing to change what might need changing. That one scene you fell in love with, but it doesn't move the plot along? You might have to cut it, or "perform surgery" on the entire story to have it fit. In some cases it's better to let go of a scene that doesn't work, rather than trying to fit a piece where it doesn't go.

Having a work critiqued isn't always the easiest thing for a writer. Sometimes comments are taken too personally, whether positive or negative. One of the things I was told when talking about critiques is that positive and negative comments are subjective. What one person loves, another person might hate. What one person can't stand, another person might think is the greatest thing ever. (Example: One person once told me a line I have in one of my stories wasn't very good, but someone else told me they liked that line).

What we have to do as writers is sift through everything and find out what helps us become better writers and better story tellers. Because the goal is to have our stories be the absolute best we can possibly make them. (This means, with the example above, I have to sift through what both people told me to decide if the line is what's best for my story overall).

We have to work with our stories to make sure every scene, every line, character and everything fits together to move the plot along. Sometimes something doesn't work and sometimes someone makes a suggestion that you didn't think of that improves the story. The important thing is to make the story the very best you can.

Believe in your story so you can confidentally pitch it, but also be willing to make it the absolute best you possibly can.

Have A Fruitful Friday!


Shannon O'Donnell said...

This is great advice, Bethany!

Have a great weekend! :-)

Bethany said...


Thanks. It's something I have to tell myself from time to time. It helps me. You have a great weekend, too! :-)