Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Does your story matter?

I love Chris Baty. From his latest Nano pep talk
I didn't say this in the Week One pep talk because we'd only just met and there's really only so much cornball sentiment from a random guy on the internet that anyone should have to tolerate in one month. But here's the truth: You have a book in you that only you can write. Your story matters. Your voice matters.

I'd love to believe that's true. If only my story were not so derivative.

Let's face it, some stories matter more than others.

18 COMMENTS:

Bevie said...

I understand your feelings. I share them about my own work.

But for what it's worth, here is my opinion on the matter: A story doesn't have to matter to be worthy of being told, written, performed. The Teller, Writer, Performer just has to want to do it.

That's the only criteria that really matters. Let the audience decide if it matters to them.

I think that's what Chris Baty might be saying. Don't make the "matters" decision for your audience. Present your story and let her/him/them decide.

Adam Heine said...

Something I've been realizing: that derivative story I'm writing might not be the "book in me that only I can write." It might just be practice.

Tara said...

I think every story matters. I don't think every story will sell. But I think they all matter. Keep at it.

fairyhedgehog said...

Bevie, that's good advice.

Adam, I'm doing rather a lot of practice but I suppose that's how it goes.

Tara, thanks for the encouragement.

I'm not thinking I'll write something publishable but it would be nice to write something readable.

The Sapphic Housewife said...

I'm of the opinion that just about everything is at least a little derivative of something. I think often it's all in the execution, telling it and showing it in a way that's your own.

JaneyV said...

All I want to do is finish something and for it to be readable - I'll worry about its derivativeness at a later date. A lot later...

Anyway there's always a new way to say an old thing. Haven't humans been doing that for thousands of years?

Nice pep talk. ;o)

fairyhedgehog said...

SH, I think you're right. Only sadly I'm confronting the fact that my story isn't as good as I thought it was.

fairyhedgehog said...

Jane, I'd settle for readable too!

sylvia said...

I think you need to accept that at this point in the writing process, your judgement can't be trusted.

It really isn't possible to judge your own writing sensibly while you are writing it. The urge to quit because it is clearly a waste of time will become stronger if you let those thoughts take hold. That's part of the point of Nanowrimo in my opinion, to help us to get past that and finish.

I know that's easier said than done though!

Kate said...

As a successful playwrite commented in my blog once, there are no original stories, but every voice is original. It's your voice, your take, your perspective that will make your novel fresh, no matter the plot.

Besides, you're almost halfway there! You're my inspiration!

Bevie said...

"I think you need to accept that at this point in the writing process, your judgement can't be trusted."

Wonderful thought for all of us, Sylvia.

Robin S. said...

I ageee wholeheartedly with Sylvia, FH. Just keep writing and let your story tell itself to you.

Don't overthink it in the first writing, just have at it. It doesn't seem to me that you have a derivative bone in your body.

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks for your encouragement, sylvia, Kate and Robin. I shall just ignore the total suckiness of my current draft and keep on writing.

Bevie said...

How does the saying go?

If the first draft doesn't suck, it doesn't exist.

Sarah Laurenson said...

As for being derivative, I've heard it said there are only two types of stories: A hero goes on a journey and A stranger comes to town. Everything derives from these two themes.

In a funk myself at the moment, but pulling out of it.

fairyhedgehog said...

Bevie, I hadn't heard that and it made me laugh.

Sarah, my story has both those themes! Still, it sounds like I'm in good company.

Bevie said...

I confess: I made it up.

But I think it's true.

It is for me anyway.

fairyhedgehog said...

It's a good saying, Bevie.

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