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Writing Thought: Perseverance
Nov 7th, 2014 by Coral

I didn’t get the chance to post yesterday, and for that I offer my most sincere apologies. When I finally got home from work, my laptop decided to do an update and reboot, and by the time that had finished, I had to go to bed so that I would be rested for my Latin Test this morning. Well, the Latin Test is over, the update is complete, and I am back.

So, the topic for today’s discussion is motivation. Two kinds of motivation, really, yours and your characters. We’ll start with character motivation.

Every character needs to have clear motivation. Even if it isn’t meant to be clear to the reader, it needs to be clear to you and to the character. If you don’t know why the heck the character is doing what they’re doing, it won’t feel real and won’t make any sense to the reader.  Strong motivation makes meaningful actions from your characters. Another thing to consider is that your characters are subject to change, just like regular people. They can change their minds, their perspectives can go through a metamorphosis, and this is a very good thing. Even if you have a principle that they stick to, they can still change how they approach it, adding in an understanding of other perspectives. This is an important part of character development and story texture.

 

Now for your motivation. Read the rest of this entry »

Friendly Feedback
Nov 5th, 2014 by Coral

Alright, today we’re talking about feedback. Feedback is wonderful, I love getting feedback, and it’s the only way to get your work ready for publishing. As a writer,  it’s easy to get caught up in the story, and what I mean to say, and forget how it looks to the reader. It’s impossible to truly read my own work with the eye of a reader. I know too much, sadly.

There are several things to consider when accepting feedback. First is that your readers have the perspective of the not all knowing spectator. You are all knowing in your story, and they are not. They can point out when things don’t make sense and need more explanation.   The majority of comments deserve fair consideration and thought, no first draft is perfect.  Editors and proofreaders are a wonderful gift to author-kind.

On the flip side, you must remember that it is YOUR story. YOU have all power and knowledge on what is supposed to happen and what your characters can and cannot do, what they will and will not do. YOU know your characters better than ANYONE else. Sometimes, it is necessary to completely disregard comments and suggestions from your proofreaders. Sometimes they make suggestions that have absolutely nothing to do with the story, or they have completely missed the point. Now, if they have completely missed the point, it may be necessary to embellish your story or expand on some points, for clarity. But in the event that they suggest you change something entirely, simply because they missed the point, you can ignore the suggestion to change.

You may also get contradictory opinions on how you should add to your story, in which case, use your own judgment as the all powerful author and do what you judge to be best for your story. You are the only one who understands the story in it’s entirety. While every comment deserves appreciation and consideration, part of the consideration must be the understanding that you have the right to completely ignore the comment.

Recently, while preparing a piece for the Helicon West competition, I have received all of these kinds of comments. I have taken some and used them to better my story, and I have completely ignored others.   To finish the thought, do not let negative feedback discourage you. If  someone doesn’t understand, or tries to impose rules that don’t exist on to your story, thank them for their time and move on with your life. Do not let it stop you, because that would be a tragedy, indeed.

That’s all for now, farewell readers, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Writing Thought: Isaac Asimov
Nov 1st, 2014 by Coral

Today, I would like to share my favorite quote by science fiction legend Isaac Asimov.  I found this quote in his introduction to  “Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Anthology-Volume 1” and it’s a very helpful quote for me as a writer.

 

“It’s just that in the great world around us, you can’t trust other people to sing your praises. They can be awfully short-sighted and incapable of appreciating talent. Therefore, you have to prime the pump, so to speak.  You have to do a little self-appreciating just to get them started. If, for any reason, they don’t get started right away, you have to keep it up for a while longer.” – Asimov

 

I love this because, I think, all of us as writers can relate. One of the most frustrating things I have encountered in my writing is when I have a brilliant idea, and I can’t find someone to tell about it who will appreciate it.  Those “short-sighted” people brush it off, or just give it a passing “cool” or “sounds fine, good luck with that.”  I’m the kind of person who gets really excited about things, especially ideas that have potential- whether they be mine or someone else’s.

 

Asimov comments later in his introduction that he was in the self-appreciating business for an incredibly long time, which also brings a measure of comfort. If such a renowned writer was once in the same position as I am now, then who’s to say I can’t be just as legendary?

 

That, my friends, is my writing thought of the day. Enjoy, have a good life, and welcome to November!

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