A Sacrifice to the god Reader
So I have another story written, edited, beta-read, re-written, and submitted. Now that I pushed that submit button, it's on its own. Like a kid leaving for college, a birdie kicked out of the nest, like a sacrifice burnt to a god named Reader I have to wait and hope that my tribute is deemed worthy.
That's a bit dramatic. Point is, after you hit submit, there's nothing more to be done. Promoting maybe. Praying might have more effect.
The truth is, some stories are hits and some just miss the target. I'm often surprised by which ones catch on and which ones fall flat. I've had stories that I was SURE would catch the readers imagination and excitement just to receive humdrum feedback or no feedback at all. Other stories I write on a whim with no expectation and am surprised, pleasantly surprised, when that is the one that gets people excited.
I guess the lesson is to write, edit, share and see what happens. Write a lot. Submit a lot. Be ready for the ho-hum responses. (Truly negative feedback is pretty rare.) All of that's worth it to have a story finally appease the fickle god Reader.
Want to see if my latest work is dynamite or a dud? Swing on over to http://thewritersarena.com and read and vote on some of the stories there. Mine will be in the arena for Battle #47 waiting to spill its inky blood in the digital sands of he internet coliseum, all to win the favor of the great and benevolent Reader!
I heard someone at a workplace say, "I don't do deadlines." My first reaction was, "Well, how do you like being paid?" The truth is, deadlines and due dates are a day to day reality for anyone in a professional environment. But for some reason, writers tend to shy away from deadlines and commitments.
I know I, for one, thrive under a deadline. I enjoy writing my own projects on my own time as well, maybe even more so. But deadlines force me to get to work and produce. Plus, if you've been given a deadline that means that someone actually WANTS what you're trying to write! Writers with deadlines have an audience, a boss, in essence, they have a job!
So I say embrace the deadline! Seek out the short story contests, the regularly published columns, the series entries that your readers expect on a regular basis. Like the King said, "Amatuers sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work."
A couple deadlines I have coming due that you can benefit from: www.writersarena.com Writer's Arena Battle coming at the end of July
My monthly sci-fi adventure series at www.channillo.com, Vulpine One! Next episode coming the 1st of August. Enjoy!
The Character Arc
Every character has to have an arc. Every character must go through a change. If our characters don't change, it's not a story about a character; it's just a description of an event. But how hard and fast is this rule? What about character's who are on the brink of achieving that epiphany but fail to complete their arc? It seems tragedies are built around those flawed characters who come so close to seeing their error of their ways but fall short.
And what about those stoically awesome tough guys who solve all their problems with violence? Do we really want to see an Arnold movie where he learns to overcome adversity with creative thought and the application of empathy? Or do we want to see him stick to his guns and be a bad ass until all the bad guys are dead?
Character Arc is important. So important that it should be discussed. I think there's more to it than just "The hero has a flaw, but through the course of the story, he'll overcome that flaw." What do you guys think?
On the off hand chance I type out the random thoughts that wander through my brain.