5 Classic Defenses for Criminal Story Neglect
1. I need to learn to write gooder, your honor.
BUSTED: If you can tell a friend your story idea, you can write your story.
There’s no workshop, class, conference or book that will do more to improve your writing than finishing a book. This isn’t going to be the book that sweeps the best-seller lists. But you’ll never get to that book if you don’t finish a few others.
Forget about spelling, grammar, or perfect plotting. You can improve all of those later. Tell the story! You’ll always be improving your craft, but no level of craft will get you to “The End.” Only writing will.
2. I don’t have a TARDIS or a maid. How can I possibly find the time to write?
BUSTED: Later is never going to come. Every author writing today has a life just as full and busy as yours. They write in the bathroom in the hotel on family vacations. They write at their kid’s hockey games. They write at night, they write on lunch breaks.
If the thing preventing you from writing a book is the myth that you’ll have more time later, you need to spend a day at a writers’ conference and ask what daily life is like for people who have finished a book.
3. So. Many. Ideas.
BUSTED: Your mama had a favorite, and so do you.
You walk into a chocolatier in Paris, and the place is filled with the most delectable delights you could ever imagine. So you’re going to leave without eating one? Or you can’t decide, so you get a variety box. You still have to eat one first. It’s not going to be the white chocolate one. Which one will it be? You’ll get to the others later. Maybe only a little later…
4. My story has already been done.
BUSTED: It’s never been told by you before.
There’s this weird phenomenon, this certain stage of writing your book where you’re near the end and you take a reading break and somehow you pick the one book out of your towering TBR pile that is EXACTLY LIKE YOURS. How will you prove you didn’t know about the book, and you’d already named your characters before reading it, and ohmygosh that line is in the last scene I wrote almost verbatim!!
Dori has an answer for you.
This happens to everyone, from newly aspiring authors to seasoned, best-selling professionals. Just keep writing.
5. The story got stuck. I had to put it out of its misery.
BUSTED: Don’t euthanize the poor thing! Get it into the emergency room for surgery!
Maybe your first story will have a limp. Shoot, it might have a missing leg! But that’s no reason to let it die a slow death from neglect. Move around the part of the plot that just won’t resolve. Type a few asterisks and leave a note that says, “something brilliant”, and write the next chapter. Come back to it later, and you may find that the problem has untangled itself!
What’s your defense?There’s no workshop or class that will do more to improve your writing than finishing a book. Click To Tweet