What’s On Your Mind? Talk Back!

Faithful readers, THE STORY SPOT wants to give you what you crave. What do you need in order to do your best work? Post your niggling questions, ruminations, and whatnots here. If you’re lurking, now is your chance to jump in.

A tip ‘o the hat to those who post their:

  • writerly Amazon wishlists,
  • indispensible resources,
  • lucky writing charms,
  • favorite mind-clearing distractions,
  • little-known tips.

Today’s post turns the keys over to you. If you’d like an in-depth response from THE STORY SPOT crew, just ask and we’ll do our best to post an answer in upcoming weeks.

(Be sure to click through to the full post for comments!)

And a tiny url for your sharing pleasure: http://tinyurl.com/cmr43ca
  1. For me, writing and revising is about forgetting and rediscovering–

    Tools:
    GoodReads.com — I use the review section to help dissect the story for myself, figuring out what makes the narrative tick. Since it’s on GoodReads, I have a record of what I’ve read and what I’ve learned.

    Tricks:
    Sh*tty First Drafts
    and second drafts
    and third drafts

    Kathryn says:
  2. Absolutely, Kathryn! I find gems in the first pass sometimes but most often, it’s after working through the interconnections of the story that the real goodies come through. Hard to remember that sometimes as I slog through the toughies (which are usually my own, by the way).

    Thanks for the GOOD READS tip. Hadn’t thought of that one. We use LibraryThing here at the SPOT but lots of friends like that and Shelfari. Feel free to post your library here, if you like.
    /djw

    dianejwright says:
  3. I'm not sure how well its wisdoms apply to fiction and screenplays, but when I think of the number of times in my life I've referred to Strunk & White (The Elements of Style), I simply must include it as an "indespensible resource." Just having it nearby is good enough – but if you haven't read it, I do recommend it, if only for the sheer love of language (and subtle humor) in its pages.

    What I NEED is some kind of "find your plot" tool. My stories keep trying to turn into "save the world" thrillers when that's not at all what I had in mind – nor would I know how to make it happen.

    bekbek says:
  4. That’s interesting, bekbek. What would happen if, just once, you let a character try to save the world? Seems as if there’s something you want to write, doesn’t it?

    If it’s a plot-finder you wish, I cautiously guide you to any of the many books on the subject (check my STORE link for my faves — all available at public libraries). But I’d say:

    1 – write until you see what happens
    2 – find out more about the characters you care about because they will tell you what their plot “needs to be” and
    3 – try not to worry so much about the events of your stories. With the exception of mysteries (maybe) , events aren’t what makes good reading anyway.

    dianejwright says:

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