Many of us have been writing stories for a reallllly long time. Like since we were 10. Or 7. Or 5.
Some of these stories hold a special place in our hearts. Maybe these stories have developed over time, or changed, or helped spark new ideas for a champion story.
The point is, we’ve all got stories that mean a lot to us. And maybe we’ve been working on these stories for a long time, biding our time as we hunt for publishers or try our hands with self publishing.
The journey of working with a story you created when you were younger is quite beautiful, in my opinion. Also, I think that you, as the author, have a deeper connection with your characters and with your setting, which you can then convey to the reader better. Sometimes these stories can be even more meaningful, since we have discovered and taught ourselves a number of lessons through them.
Often times this means that when it’s time to edit, we aren’t willing to change what we’ve written. We can grow so attached to our stories, stories that we have grown with for such a long time, that we refute the idea of editing and everything that comes with it: erasing and rewriting, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, this can be really hard, and even a little frustrating or heart-breaking. It’s like parting with an old friend. I get it, and I’ve been through it. I “wrote a book” when I was seven, and I worked on that story up until I was sixteen. Yep, that’s right. I tried to get it published and everything.
The emphasis is on “tried”.
The truth is, I had grown too attached to parts of my story, especially in the beginning, that I really should’ve let go of. The beginning of the boon was slow, drawn out, etc. But, because of my affection, I wasn’t willing to make the changes necessary to my book.
Fight this mentality with tooth and nail. Seriously. No matter how tough the fight gets.
Because we need to ask ourselves an important question: how far are you willing to go to make your book into what it needs to be? To make your book into what it should be?
This is one of the hardest parts of writing: being honest with ourselves. And accepting criticism from others. And being willing to criticize ourselves.
It’s tough. Nobody likes being criticized or having to correct themselves. But it has to be done.
I’m actually struggling a little as I edit Elithius, the series that will be coming out soon. I just happened to be perusing the beginning of the book, a part I had already edited numerous times, and I realized, “Gosh, this needs to change!”
After so much editing, do I really want to change the beginning?
No. But I will.
Because I want to give whatever it takes to make my book perfect. And there is something beautiful about that. In fact, although I don’t like thinking about the changes I have to make, I think that I will enjoy this in the long run. Who doesn’t like making something better than before?
In what ways does your own story need to change? What parts are you holding onto that need to go?
How far are you willing to go to make your book perfect?
That question is equivalent to: how much do you love your story?
What do you think?
Also, just a note: my computer is down, so I have to use my phone for everything. Thus, if I don’t seem very productive…well, that’s why. Thanks for understanding!