Writing is a very insular activity. We ask writers to write in solitude, spend hours alone contemplating their thoughts and their story.
However, there comes a time when you need to give yourself some objectivity. Can you take a break from being the creator and pretend for a moment you are a reader without insider information?
Writers have a lot of pressure to deliver a manuscript that is true to their integrity and a great experience for their reader. Whether it’s an agent, editor, or the mass market: Will your reader be entertained? Will they learn something about the world or themselves? Will they enjoy this book?
Intentional or not, writers are providing the reader with an ‘experience’ I like to call it. You are inviting a reader into the world you’ve created. You need to make sure it’s a whole and comprehensive world that readers want to spend time in. It’s hard to see this sometimes when you’re entranced in the writing process. But at some point you need to take an objectivity pill and stand back to evaluate whether you’ve given this meaningful and entertaining experience to the reader.
Questions to ask yourself for objectivity and improvement: Continue reading Objectivity and Distance: What experience are you giving your reader?
Perhaps the whole time you’ve been writing your manuscript you’ve thought this is the best way to write it (i.e. POV, tone, genre, character age, setting). It’s natural to plan for the outcome in the framework you’ve predetermined, however what happens when a little voice in your head (or a big voice namely your agent or editor) suggests that maybe the POV should be centered around another character, that the target market should be YA not adult, or that the setting should move counties or countries.
When you are trying to reason and ‘solve’ this issue you think so hard about what’s the best way to communicate the story you’ve set out to tell. The voice you are trying answer might have been there all along.
This is why books take so long to write. Just when you think you’ve finished a new angle might be introduced that would better suit the project. What would happen if THE PARIS WIFE had been told from Hemingway’s perspective?–Well I suppose it wouldn’t have been called THE PARIS WIFE and it certainly wouldn’t have been such an interesting book. Continue reading Creativity is about thinking in more than one way