Posts Tagged writing tips
Good Evening Lovely Reader!
When I am inspired, I feel energized. When I feel energized, I become empowered. When I become empowered, I embody PASSION.
The Impossible Dream is a song that bubbles up from time to time whenever I feel inspired to create something really amazing. Frank loves it, and HAS been known to march around my deck as if he were Don Quixote himself – lance held high and armor shining (even though it wasn’t in the musical).
“Pancho! Bring my armour and MY SWORD!”
So the other day, while I was moving toward 35K words writing the scene where Tomas meets his future wife, the song echoed between my ears and I suddenly burst into song (in private, of course).
Then, after queuing up the youtube video, I heard the opening line to that song:
“The mission of each true knight is duty. Nay, it’s privilege.” – The Impossible Dream – Man of La Mancha
Like a lance to the shield, my brain shattered into brilliance:
“The Mission of each true Writer is Story; nay, it’s Passion.”
That’s my take on it, and therefore the theme today.
So, in honor of my amazingly not-so-special singing voice, I have re-written that song into the Mission of Each True Writer Feel free to sing along, as if you were Don Quixote singing to his lovely Dulcenea. If you care to add music, please feel free to load Impossible Dream – Man of La Mancha
“The Passionate Tale” by Stephen R. Gann
“The Mission of each true Writer is Story; nay, it’s Passion.
“To write – such a passionate tale. That your read-er lives in your heart.
To hold, a space filled with your power. To build, a link into your love!
To write – with description and joy. To hear – what it’s like to sing pain.
To feel, what your character dreams for, to fly into arms of your Soul!
This is your quest! To follow that Love!
No matter the stories, just write what you know.
To draw from your heart, without question or pause.
To be willing to show and not tell so your readers will care
And I know – if you’ll only be true – to this glorious quest.
That your words – will show passion and truth, when we open your book.
And the world – will be better for this:
That your tale, filled with feeling and song – will sing with it’s full breadth of courage –
To FLY. Into arms of your SOULLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!”
Fly into the arms of your souls, lovely reader and soar to heights unknown.
Stephen R. Gann
Good Morning Lovely Readers!
I’m going to take a few moments to post a quickie while Frank is brewing his own coffee – a new brand called Kicking Horse 454.
Now THAT (Frank brewing his OWN) is a feat in, and of itself. Normally, I’m the one taking care of his every need. However, to be kind, he decided it’d be best if I wrote something for all of you while he took a break. Not a break from keeping me on track. No, he’s been brilliant there. In fact, I’m past 30K words, and now digging deeper into the character motivations to truly enhance the story.
Suffice it to say, Frank is happy. And caffeinated. And brewing his own coffee! A triple win. What could be better?
As a coach, I deal with feedback all of the time, and there is definitely an art to providing feedback. When done wrong, it can lead to some major confidence issues. How many times have you been told, “That’s not good?” or “That’s bad.” or “I didn’t really like what you wrote there. I think it should have been like this.”
Often, that’s the sort of feedback we get when handing our work to others. They focus on the negative, ‘what didn’t work’ and then make it personal, by saying it’s bad. Not they MEAN it to be personal, but anytime a judgement is placed, it can go straight to the heart and we wear it like a battle wound.
Ever experienced that?
What if feedback could be framed in a different way? One that was productive and really assisted you in moving forward in a positive manner? What if judgement could be removed?
Guess what? There is! ::insert loud cheering noises from the crowd::
If comes in two parts, each equally valuable and both stated in the positive. Ready? Here we go…
A. What Works Well
So, when asking your beta reader(s) for creative feedback, have them START with ‘What Works Well’ within your story. Such as, “What works well with the plot?” “What works well with the characters, their interactions, the transitions…” Anything you are seeking feedback around.
Now, many people might find this odd. They might think, “Isn’t feedback supposed to be about what doesn’t work?” I mean, if it works, why do you need to know? Here’s why: By knowing what works, you know what direction to follow as you move forward with your writing. Knowing what your reader enjoys (works well), allows you to continue filling their needs.
Here’s the second part:
B. Even Better If
Let that sit in your brain for a moment. How is this feedback? One, it takes negative judgement out of the equation. Two, it provides valuable information into what your ideal reader WANTS instead of what they don’t. When writing toward something, you make it greater – you make progress. By writing away from something, you move backwards.
Okay. Example, you ask? Sure.
Lovely Reader: “There was one part that gave me pause. You wrote, ‘The space train stopped on the tracks, then backed up.’ The scene would have been EVEN BETTER IF the train had launched into space, maybe with jet engines.
Amazing Writer: “Why would that have been better, lovely reader?”
Lovely Reader: “Well, amazing writer, by empowering the train with jet engines, it would able to launch into space, which is where your story was heading.
Amazing Writer: “So, if I wrote it like this: “The space train stopped on the tracks, powered up it’s jet engines and launched itself into space.’ What that work better?”
Lovely Reader: “Yes! That would be so amazing, I would never stop reading your work.”
Now, that was a wacky sort of example, but certainly explains how it works. The point of the story is this:
EVEN BETTER IF framework allows you to determine what the reader WANTS, instead of what they don’t want. Which would you rather have?
Okay! That’s it for me today. What brought this post forward, was the feedback I recently received from a couple of beta readers around a short story. By asking them to provide feedback in this format, the required changes were empowering and really inspired me to move deeper.
IN Joy, lovely readers!
Stephen R. Gann