It’s The Story Stupid

Over the past few years I’ve noticed the not-too-subtle change in entertainment, including novels and movies. It seems we’ve turned slowly from quality creativity to STORY. Some of those who write today are not very good writers, but they are terrific storytellers. And this seems to be where the industry is today.

Of course, we must be able to handle the English language fairly well to have our work accepted, but that is second to telling a great story. As always, characters are most important. You can’t have much of a story without characters that the reader can identify with. Someone they care enough about to spend all those hours immersed in their adventures.
So, with that in mind, we came up with an innovative (to us) idea for our critique group. Instead of bringing five pages from their book or story or article, anyone who wants to may bring up to five pages telling their story. We will then brainstorm and help them decide where to go with the story, what to add that will make it jump off the pages when an editor reads it. In the past two weeks, we’ve brainstormed four stories and helped writers turn them into “out of the box” ideas for fiction novels.
It’s surprising how many good ideas leaped from the minds of our writers. Some are better at this than others, but almost everyone in our rather large group had suggestions to “ramp up” the stories, as that exciting new author Jordan Dane says. Of course, all of the ideas won’t be usable. The direction some of these stories have taken is amazing. I can’t wait to hear the finished product.
My novel-in-a-month project has gone well, though I won’t finish it in the month. I have written 11 pretty complete chapters, or 220 pages since the beginning of November. That’s pretty impressive, I think. In line with turning this into an exciting story, I’ve done some brainstorming on my own for finishing the novel. I think I’ll take the story in to our critique group and let them add their WOW ideas before I finish up and do the revisions.
Writing is such an exciting business, and I can understand why so many people want to write a book. Last I heard it was 85% of the American people who said they’d like to write a book. Most of them won’t, others will try and not finish, but some will indeed become bona fide writers. Living in the world of our own creation is a breathtaking experience. I wouldn’t take back a single year I’ve spent struggling to get published and to stay published. The excitement of successes far outweighs the disappointment of rejections. Just being in the business and meeting so many super writers has been worth all the effort. Take a peek into my world.
I heard from my editor at Old American Publishing that my book, The Boston Mountains: Lost In The Ozarks, will be out in the spring of 2010. I now have the proofs for editing. The book looks really good and I’m excited to see it published. Still waiting on word about the recipe/story book, which we’ve now titled Arkansas Meals and Memories: Lift Your Eyes To The Mountains.
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About veldabrotherton

I'm primarily a writer, but I also speak and teach workshops and co-chair a large critique group. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. After almost 30 years in this business, I still have something to learn and attend conferences to network with other writers, publishers, editors and agents.
This entry was posted in brainstorm, critique groups, fiction, nonfiction, Old American Publishing, publishing, recipes, storyteller, Velda Brotherton. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It’s The Story Stupid

  1. Marla says:

    Congratulations on your soon to be published book. Can't wait to read it!

  2. Thanks, Marla. I'm getting anxious to see the finished product myself. I appreciate comments on my blog.

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