First, a big congrats to my friend, Gemini Judson, for releasing her first book Animals. It's now available at Loose ID.
Okay, back to the topic at hand. Do you care?
**Warning – I will offend some people with this blog post**
It's a simple question. Do you care about your story? Does it give you a sense of pride? Do you invest yourself in it or are you afraid that if you go there you'll release some inner demon. Do you really care about the craft?
These are all important questions that a writer must ask themselves at one point or another. The most important is this, "Do you give a shite about what was once your dream?"
I can ask that because I'm not only an author but an editor and publisher. This has become flagrantly obvious most writers have forgotten the principals of what makes a good story a really good story or have never learned them. They've been led by their blind-as-a-bat crit partners to believe any 'supposed' bible that comes out is the be-all and end-all in writing. Wrong! Very wrong!
Here's a clue, and this isn't brain surgery, know what you write and write it well. Put something of yourself in every story and make it the best work you can. Understand the principles of writing and don't let some nimrod whose read Whoever-Famous-Author's book on writing tell you, "but Whoever says do this". Guess what, they're famous and they don't care about little old you (but they thank you for putting more money in their pocket by buying their book). Plus, if you read most of them and then their work, you'll see they don't follow their own advice – duh.
So let's break it down – the components of a story (reject at will).
World Building – that's the place your characters do what they do and it creates the dramatic backdrop for them to do it against.
Characterization – This relates to the paper dolls most writers are penning right now. They're supposed to be part and parcel of the backdrop and the setting feeds them. Character arcs are a part of this and they are the written journey of the hero and heroine. It includes emotional drive (deep pov) and all that crap most authors think is bs anymore because it all has to be shown. Show the fricken' emotions.
Plot – I could scream this for years and, guess what, most writers won't give a wit. Study plot. It's IMPORTANT. Take a journey with a plot and the story will become greater than the sum of its parts.
Resolution – ever read a story and the ending is flatter than a car tire that's just gone over spike strips. That's because the story ran out of steam. The author just ended it because they have the attention span of a flea (yes, I'm being hard on people here because I'm about sick of flat endings).
These are integral parts of a story.
Until next Tuesday, cheers and happy writing,