Does Your Story Need That?

A lot of these blog posts are fairly light, but we’re about to dive into some more serious subject matter. Prejudice, Sexual Politics, and Violence. I’m not planning on getting too specific, but if it’s the thing you might not want to read about, you have been warned.

Part of writing a story is knowing what you need to put into it and what you can do without. Among all the talk of plotting and character arcs and worldbuilding and theme, we often don’t get down to specifics. Every story is its own animal, and every story has its own needs.

The foundation of fiction is that it is imagined. This truth is usually sidestepped by both author and audience because if we acknowledge that a story isn’t “real” in even the smallest way it can be seen as robbing of it of its value.… Read the rest “Does Your Story Need That?”

Mission Statements

Let’s talk Mission Statements.

The term has become a cliche, one that’s hard to take seriously. But I’m here to try to redeem the idea because good writing almost always has a mission statement, even if that isn’t immediately obvious.

Stripping away most of the baggage from the word, a mission statement is a driving goal, a thing to focus on when in doubt. It doesn’t have to be the only purpose, but it is an important purpose. Generally, I think it’s important that when I write I have a mission statement in mind.

Not always, and not always at the beginning of a story. It doesn’t have to be there right away, but that goal should show up eventually and it almost always ends up affecting my rewrites and editing process. Once I know what a story is trying to accomplish, I know where to focus my energies, and storytelling is all about focus.… Read the rest “Mission Statements”