Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cool Blog Quote: It's The Story That Counts

"...what really grabs the reader isn’t the great writing. It’s the story that all that great writing is giving voice to."

Lisa Cron, Channeling the Reader's Brain: What We Expect of Every Story, guest post at Janice Hardy's The Other Side of the Story, July 12, 2012.

This quote struck me because it's what I've been thinking about for several years now. I can revise and improve my writing all I want, but if the story isn't there, it doesn't matter. That's why for me, it's so important to play around with the story ideas and events before I start the actual writing.

It also means that during re-vision, I need to be brave and make big changes, like cutting out huge parts of the story and replacing them with something more compelling that takes the character even deeper into a problem.


  1. That's so true Andrea. If the story isn't there or drags, it doesn't work. It's taken me years to finally get this and cut the beautifully written but really not necessary scenes from my manuscript even if it meant deleting characters I liked.

  2. Another cool quote, and so true. We can juggle plot and characterization and description all we want, but ultimately it's story we're trying to achieve. Thanks for the reminder...

  3. Very true~ even if your level of craft is highly accomplished, you can't nab an agent/publishing deal without characters and a story that people want to follow :)

  4. Writing involves a great deal of bravery, and sometimes, even when we've worked on a story so hard and for so long, if it's still not a strong story, it won't hook the way we need it too.

    Great thoughts, Andrea.

  5. Sometimes all the pursuit of craft makes me feel like the story itself is secondary. And as much as poor craft bothers me, I think the huge successes of books with questionable writing show that people ARE after the story.

  6. What an excellent post! I have chopped whole chapters from my ms and it can be tough. But, I have had to let go and have realized that even if the writing is good- if there isn't enough happening the pacing will be off. It is amazing how rewarding it can be to chop off some paragraphs, pages, or chapters that aren't making the mark. :)



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