Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Embrace Your Writing Instincts


Once upon a time, I had a critique partner tell me you had to fulfill three tasks with each paragraph you wrote.

To be honest, I can't remember the rules.

I'm not really a rule gal.

But I do remember one thing. It occurred to me that if you are trying to follow a lot of rules with every word you write, it might inhibit your natural storytelling ability.

It might even incapacitate you and give you writer's block. Make you anxious and worried. 

With every word.

I couldn't believe this writer was thinking about three rules instead of just letting her story flow.

Most writers are natural storytellers. 

It's in our blood.

And, as natural storytellers, our instincts are pretty sound.

We know how to hook the listener/reader/viewer. We know how to build tension. We know how to create conflict. 

I'm sure there are a lot of rules we can follow. But at what cost?

I think writers often underestimate their natural instincts.

You know when something is working and when it's not.

If you listen to that inner critic/editor/gut feeling/instinct, it will most likely steer you in the right direction.

Learning about writing "rules" from books, workshops, conferences, critique partners can help you polish up those words. Tweak the manuscript. When it's time to revise and edit, those helpful tips can make your story shine.

But don't let someone else's advice drown out the most important thing...your own voice.

And most importantly, don't let those rules incapacitate your creative output.

We all know it's fine to "puke" up the words and edit later.

I usually find that my initial instincts with a story are spot-on. Not perfect, but the instincts are solid.

Many times I'll go around in circle, trying and rejecting different ideas, and I end up back at the beginning, because the initial concept was right.

We have absorbed thousands of stories in our lifetimes, from books and movies and real-life news and our own personal experience. All of those things become part of who we are as writers, and they make our instincts stronger.

Final word for the day...TRUST YOURSELF!

You got this!

All my best,
Penny/Nina

2 comments:

Tasha B. said...

There rules per paragraph? Oy..

Penelope said...

I couldn't write a word if I had all those rules floating around in my brain. Forget it!