We all make mistakes, especially when learning anything new. Writing is not immune to process. Contrary to popular belief, writing great stories is HARD.
It takes time, devotion, training, mentorship, blood, sacrifice and the willingness to make a ton of mistakes. This means countless hours and probably years of practice (which also means writing a ton of crappy books/stories).
As I mentioned in the last post, George R.R. Martin didn’t become a legend because of his marketing abilities and mad HootSuite skills.
No, he’s a master because he’s practiced and honed raw talent until he could create a series that’s become a global phenomenon.
Same with J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and all the other ‘greats.’ They didn’t begin as legends. It took time, practice, and a fair share of ugly drafts and stories.
With practice, we learn what works, what doesn’t, what sizzles and what fizzles. We find, develop and mature our writing voice.
The problem I see these days is that, now that we’ve transitioned into the digital age and it’s so easy to self-publish, many writers are ‘ad-men’ before artists.
In the old publishing paradigm, writers faced rejection until they either gave up or learned how to tell better stories that audiences would pay to read. Writers made the mistakes in private before permitted onto the VERY EXCLUSIVE public stage.
Now? There are so many books flooding the market, it’s far harder to get authentic and useful feedback. Tougher to know what we’re doing wrong when the books don’t sell, no one leaves a review, or the agents keep sending form-letter rejections.
Today, I hope to address what might be wrong with stories that either we aren’t finishing or that aren’t selling (either to an agent or directly to the market).