Are you writing the right story?

Being part of a writing community is fantastic. Whether it be a writers’ group on Facebook (like I’m in) or a close group of friends, it’s nice to know that you can share your passion with someone who understands and get feedback on your work.

Lately, I’ve found myself asking a lot of questions.

“Would you hate this character if he did X?”

“Does this scene come off too creepy?”

“Is this typical for erotica, or should I take it out because it’s not really that sexy?”

While it’s great to have feedback, I realized that I was asking too much. If I asked a question every time I had a doubt about something in my novel, it’d be a list of questions as long as the novel itself. It’s nice to hear that yes, your character Bob does come off as being sensitive and edgy, as you wanted, but if you rely too much on what others say, you’re going to lose your writing voice.

On the same group I started asking too many question to, I see a girl who posts something almost every single day.

“Will this sell even though my character is a strong female who talks back?”

“Will people still buy this even though the romance happened a little too fast?”

“Would you buy a story about a prince and princess if the princess is really smart?”

Basically, this woman is obsessed with what will make her book marketable and what other people want her to write. You should write for your fans, yes, but you HAVE to write for yourself. If you’re not, then you’re going to be miserable.

When you ask yourself whether something is working out or not, you don’t need to ask someone else’s opinion. Analyze the scene in relation to the story at large. Go with your first instinct when writing it all in the first draft, then agonize over those little details in the second or third. The time for getting opinions is during editing, when you have an editor or beta readers looking over your work.

Sometimes you may ask yourself “Am I writing the right story?” If it’s a story you feel needs to be told about characters with strong voices that you’re proud of, then the answer is yes, and you don’t need anyone else’s confirmation to tell you that.

What have you written that you’re most proud of?

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7 thoughts on “Are you writing the right story?

  1. Very true. I question alot of my writing and always welcome structured critique. I guess what keeps us motivated is that we remain always unsure and always wanting to do better

    Like

  2. Pingback: How much questioning is too much? | Emily Arden, author

  3. You make some really important points here – thanks for the post Charlotte!
    In answer to your final question – I love the parts of ‘my writing’ where the characters dictate the story and I just take dictation. I can’t question that, because they’re the ones making the decisions. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This brings up good points. There are over 7 billion people out there… a few of them are bound to love what you write. Sure, there’s a vampire fad going on (or was going on), but that doesn’t mean in order to write a best-seller you need to have a vampire character.

    Liked by 1 person

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