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?

Write whenever you can!

I worked 8 1/2 hours today. For the first four hours, they put me in “the hole” where I just stood there and took orders and gave change. We were under-staffed, so during the lunch rush the cars were going through the line really slow, meaning that I had time between orders where I couldn’t do anything but wait. I stole a pen from the office and started writing on a blank receipt roll.

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Water bottle for scale (and to hold it still on the couch while the fan was on).

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It’s not a whole scene or anything (that would’ve required a REALLY long receipt), but I didn’t need to write a whole scene. I have two new scenes I have to write for Kiss of the Fey since I’m getting rid of most of the last four chapters, so there’s just a few things I have to add here and there. This will just go somewhere in the first few chapters; wherever I can fit it.

So even if you’re just writing a few ideas on a napkin on your lunch break, remember that you can ALWAYS find time to write.