I was just thinking; when you’re writing that next great American novel, you owe it to yourself to ask what is possibly the most important question in the writing world: Do you love your story?
This might seem like a ridiculous question, but the fact is, if you don’t like your story, if you rush through certain parts because you can’t bear to read them, if you yawn at other parts because they bore you stiff…if you experience the least bit of resentment (no matter how minimal) whenever you pick up your pencil or fire up your computer to begin writing, you might want to trash that story and start another one.
But it’s a great story, you think. It’s a wizard/werewolf/mutant vampire steam punk dramedy, and it’s trending right this very minute. Why should I trash it?
Well, you shouldn’t, if you’re happy with it. But if it annoys you…if you’ve begun to think of it as a carbuncle on the drooping *ss of life, you’re probably headed for a big writing let-down. See, you should be passionate about your story. You should be excited. You should be full of ideas that you literally scramble to get down on paper and share with the world. In short, you should love it. Because if you don’t…love it, that is, you can bet your readers won’t love it either.
How do you find a story you love? Well, that’s a whole ‘nother post, but I can tell you this: It’ll be a story that plays itself out in your mind, the way those relentless background programs run on your computer while you’re doing something else. It’ll be a story that nags at you, and says, “Tell my story. Tell, or I’ll keep you awake tonight just like I did last night…and the night before.”
So…tell it. Write what haunts you, nags at you; write what’s arm-wrestling your brain. It doesn’t have to be wizards, werewolves or vampires to be a good story, it just has to be what you hear in your head…and you gotta love it.
Best wishes and happy writing,