Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Do What Works For YOUR Story

I often hear writers talk about things that writers "have to do" to be published. They often go on and talk about specific techniques or strategies that a writer should include in their story to make it truly successful. I am sure many of you have seen this as well when you were doing research on the writing craft. You may have even sat in sessions and workshops that have proclaimed the "must do's" to writing.

And I have to say that this is not the case.

Now, before you start to freak out here, take a deep breath and listen.

First of all, these techniques you hear writers talk about as being successful DO work! They aren't necessarily wrong. But here is the twist. Those techniques worked for them with that specific book. 

Secondly, these techniques may work for your story or the techniques may  horribly ruin your story.

What writers seem to fail to realize is that every story, every project, every query, every synopsis will be different. As a writer, you have to stop and ask if the technique or writing device you want to use will actually work for that individual story. This would include:
  • Do I need a prologue? An Epilogue?
  • Should I write it in 1st person? 3rd person?
  • Do I start the chapter with narration or dialogue?
  • Do I alternate characters for each chapter?
  • Should my query letter begin or end with the basics about my story (title, genre and word count)?
These are all on a case by case basis. As a writer you have to really know two things. A) What are the techniques and devices available to me as a writer; and, B) What is the purpose for using each of techniques? With that in mind, you can then determine if the need is present in your text.

Don't discount what these other authors are saying when it comes to what works and doesn't work. Listen to them. Learn from them. Store those ideas in your writer's toolkit. But only pull out those tools when you need them.

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