Give Your Story a Backbone

What’s missing in your story?  Try a story structure.  Focus your story more.  Give it a backbone.  If you’re a plotter, you may have already done that.  But if you’re a pantser, like I used to be, you probably didn’t.  You just went along with the story following it wherever it went.  This is fine.  Some great stories were created that way.  But I guarantee those same stories went through a rigorous round of revisions as well.  The best part is that once you’ve found your focus, it will be so much easier to cut away the excess material.

How DO you find your focus?  Start with a story question.  Figure out what your character wants.  Figure out your character’s wound, which is shaping his world and holding him back.  What or who is physically standing in his way?  And what is he afraid to lose?  Don’t forget to add a ticking clock to add tension.

Now get going.  Grab an eraser and get to work.  Kill your darlings, as they say.  Underneath the rubble of words you just might find your masterpiece.

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Why Is Revision so Hard?

Check out this enlightening guest post on Fiction Notes by Carrie A. Pearson, author of A Warm Winter Tail

Why is revision so hard?  She says it’s because it “disturbs our emotional core.”

How can we get around that?  We basically have to reframe our brains!  Imagine that.  So say it with me:  My writing isn’t wrong.  I’m not wrong.  But in the end, I must do what is best for the piece.  Dig deeper!  Find the gem and trust that you will feel it when you see it on paper.