If you’re struggling to keep your story on track during a first draft or a revision, take a moment to write down the one thing–the feel, or theme or idea–that most inspired you to write that particular story in the first place. That’s the heart of your story. It’s the thing you most want people to carry away with them after they finish reading your story and the plumb line in every scene. By putting it into words, you’ll have a clearer idea of what choices your characters will need to make and what actions they’ll need to take in each scene to remain true to the heart of your story.
Tag Archives: inspiration
My writing background is in journalism, and every good journalist learns how to write under deadline. You have a story due. You report it. You write it. You turn it in. You repeat. Because your editor is counting on you. And because it really is going to be published with your name on it, so it had better be good.
But even though I know how to write on deadline, I have difficulty moving my fiction forward at the same efficient pace of my nonfiction because (1) there is no editor waiting on it, and (2) I have no assurance it will ever be published anyway.
So how can I simulate the efficiency-producing deadlines of journalism in my fiction writing? Through a combination of written deadlines and external accountability. Continue reading →
Interacting with other writers is a great way to stay energized about your own work. This month, find a way to engage with the writing community. Seek out a writer’s conference or book festival to attend. Libraries, book stores and universities host author lectures and book signings that you can check out, as well.
If you’re like us, being around the writers who attend these types of events will motivate you to go home and make your stories the best they can be. In our experience, fellow writers are usually more than happy to socialize and network. So don’t plan to just listen while you’re there. Talk to those around you. Ask them about their projects. Share what you’re working on. You’re likely to find people who can offer solutions to some of the struggles you’ve faced. And you’re likely to walk away feeling more confident about your own projects.
Identifying what you love about your story is only one step on your journey to publication. You also need to share your enthusiasm with others. Tell us here what makes your story unique and compelling.
Enthusiasm for your latest writing project is a necessary ingredient to seeing it through to publication. Spend the coming days identifying all the things you love about your story. What makes it unique? What makes it compelling? If the story is special to you, it will be special to readers, as well.