Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Writing A Novel Is Not A Cookie Cutter Process

I have been reading a lot of submissions lately that are really falling short of where they need to be. No, it is not so much that the writers don't have potentially good stories. What I am seeing is how the authors have composed the stories. It seems as if they have simply sat down and wrote according to a formula. What we know is that good writing is not composed this way.

Although stories are all going to go through much of the same patterns...

The elements within the story are not so formulaic. Writing is not a cookie cutter process. 

It seems that a lot of these problems seem to stem from how these authors are taught to write. If you look at creative writing books, how-to-blogs or even workshops at conferences, many of these tend to lead an author into believing this is how the writing is done. In other words, if you do X then your story is better. This is very similar to the comments I made earlier this week about literary devices.

What authors need to realize is that each of these skills are things that go into your "writer's toolbox." The things you put into your story depends on your story. Every situation is completely different. I would also add that what your critique partner does in his or her story doesn't mean that it will work in your story. 

Writing requires thinking. What is going to work best in your given situation. I always say that there are no write or wrong answers when it comes to writing: but there are definitely wrong answers. In simple terms, it is wrong if your story doesn't need it.  

Just something to think about on a Wednesday.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with so much of this, I really do. As an author, I just want to create. But as a contemporary romance author I find I have to twist my story to fit the genre. And in the right word count to boot. To me this is where a really good editor (and agent if you can land one) comes into play. They help reel an author in. Thanks for you posts.