Sunday, November 13, 2016

I Need Tough Skin... But Not Too Tough

So, you would think after writing four books and working on my fifth, I would be okay with issues that pop-up while in the process of writing. I have to admit, when I first hear I am heading the wrong way, or if what I'm trying to get on paper isn't translating correctly, my first reaction is anger.

I am angry with me for not realizing something isn't right, and possibly, angry at the person that told me. Then a minute later, their words sink in, and I am able to process their constructive criticism. I say to people I yearn for constructive criticism, but it's almost if someone is calling your baby ugly. It takes a while for the red haze to die down, and what is left is a golden egg.

My husband gave me a "crazy" look (includes a weird eye/eyebrow thing) when I told him about my trouble with part of my Greek story. I should have realized this wasn't going to go well. We were eating at Olive Garden and having a nice discussion on what part of the story I was getting wrong. If anyone doesn't know, my husband is a genius in world history, ancient history, and almost every other kind of history.

But after my hands stopped shaking from anger at having my main character's actions get shot down, common sense set in. He was right! After a level headed conversation, I find myself more excited about where this story will be going then before. This opened my mind on how important it is to talk story ideas with people.

Get their ideas or, at least, their feelings on how things are going, especially if you find yourself writing without a strong voice. If you don't know where your character is going, your writing doesn't, either. The next step in this process was to write down our ideas. When we started brain storming, too many ideas were swirling around. I can't remember everything we talked about a day later, and I know it, so I pulled my phone to take notes as we were discussing various ideas.

Mostly, just be willing to tweak (or completely overhaul) your story, if needed. It makes the manuscript better to have fully thought through ideas. Be thankful and appreciative that someone you know is willing to help you design a more cohesive storyline.

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