How Far Are You Willing To Go?

i-am-a-writer

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.

Emiya fall

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!

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9 comments

  1. JoHawkTheWriter

    Interesting. I don’t have writings that survived childhood. I tried writing a journal once and when I found it a few years later I burned it. Even things I have been writing now, I seem to forget the moment I hit save. The few things I have gone back to read have been rubbish and in dire need of re-write, edit, and censor. I don’t mind criticism of my writing. In fact I am disappointed when they say it is good. Perhaps I am my own worst critic.
    Best of luck on edit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dominic Sceski

      Wow! You ARE tough on yourself. I would agree that everything I wrote as a kid is crap. It’s comforting to know that I’ve grown as a writer though!
      Thank you for the encouragment, it always means a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. NNN

    I did try my hand at writing this short story once.i wrote it and everything then,few months later I went through it again and changed so much of it. It’s amazing how there’s so much scope for change yet we’re so blinded by all the praise and just this ego, that the story is perfect. All the best for Elithius! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dominic Sceski

      Well, the truth is I still do that! Even if I wrote something last week, sometimes I find myself doing a double take!
      And thank you! That means a lot!

      Like

  3. Akaluv

    For Clash of Tides, I don’t have anything that needs to go, yet, but I’m sure something will get cut during the editing. It’s hard to let go of something you love. After a while, my characters feel like a part of me. If I cut something, it feels like I’m cutting their story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dominic Sceski

      Wow…you literally nailed it!! I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s awesome that you’re so confident in Clash of Tides. That’s another great part of being a writer: knowing when what you’ve got is good.

      Like

  4. Nicolle

    Haha, I know that feeling of not wanting to change anything from our old (cringe-full) stories! I did start a few stories since I was 10 (emphasis on start), and I eventually realised that each new story was a variation of the last. 😛

    I’m re-writing my first completed fantasy novel from over 12 years ago, and I’m going through that phase of changing things to make it better. I did go through a period of internal battle for a while (“Nooooo you can’t change that!” “But we have to make it better!”), but I’m slowly letting go of the old scenes. It’s tough, but I realise it’s only going to get better. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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