Thursday, November 27, 2014

Are You A Good Writer?

To be a good writer, one needs to know why they write.

I heard this today and decided to look at my own writing - why I put pen to paper. Was I driven to create stories or was it purely pleasure? After perusing my stories, I decided that my love of writing was the reason I continued to write.

I don't believe I have to write a thousand words a day to be a good writer. When I need to stop and reassess my goals, I stop. What a wonderful thing it is to weave a story together. I can feel the excitement of the story as it becomes real and alive. As a writer, I shape the story from my own feelings and thoughts. I believe this personalization of a story is what makes me a good writer.

How about you? What makes you a good writer?

Monday, November 17, 2014

How To Test A Story Idea

There are four basic questions to ask yourself when you have a story idea to develop, or whether you should let it remain in your notebook to mature a while longer.

1. Is it your story to tell? Is this something I really care about, something I partly understand, something that seems to want to be worked out?

2. Is it too personal for readers to become involved with? Can I work with this idea in a caring but uncompromising way to make it meaningful to someone else?

3. Is it going somewhere? Can I dramatize this in a series of scenes with a minimum of explanation? Does it have a plot or can I create a plot for it?

4. What's at stake? Is there something quite specific and vital at stake - not just to me, but to one or more of the characters involved?

If you test your ideas against these four criteria, a lot will be tossed out, or saved in your notebook for later. Don't let that upset you. There are a lot more where that came from and some will pass the test with bells ringing and flags flying. All you need is one good idea to create a solid story that keeps you writing productively for quite some time. Good luck!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

This is the first Wednesday of the month and time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. This is a blog hop and you can visit other members by clicking HERE.

Today I'm out of commission because of surgery, so I'm writing this before Wednesday and posting it so everyone can read it.

I've been feeling very insecure lately, because I've been working on two story ideas and hoping to develop one of them into a full novel. Unfortunately, I got stuck on both ideas, even though I outlined both ideas and started a chapter outline on one of them. I didn't want to end up going in two directions at once, but I like fantasy, however this is the weakest story. My first person story is stronger, but I don't have the confidence to invest the time to finish an entire novel. I'm not sure it will stand on its own.

I know this sounds wishy-washy and like I'm whining, but this is the time in a story's development that either shows that it will shine or it will flop. So far, neither shine out enough for me to continue, so wish me luck as I let them sit and work on something else in the meantime. What are you working on?