Why Loving Your Story Makes A Difference for Your Novel
Caring about your story helps you write. It’s easy to get involved with craft like planning the mystery, plotting, creating characters, and developing your writing skills. Caring about your story gets you through the tough times of challenge.
And we all have those tough times. I’ve had my share over the years. But through it all I keep thinking about my novel and how I could make it better. I still have more to do, more changes to my characters to make them more believable.
What drives your commitment is loving your story.
No One Else Cares
Someone else is not going to write the story for you. That’s one of the things that make your story unique. It’s your story.
And each story is different. Even if you’ve written several novels and have devoted fans waiting for the next story, only you will make it happen.
When you love your story—that idea that lives in your head—you create the elements that make it unique.
- the story world
- character arcs
- the villain
- the challenges to your protagonist
Every element in your story is unique to you. That’s why writing in a genre like mystery, where the tropes echo from book to book has the power to inspire a new story.
Story Love is Inspiration
When you love your story, inspiration follows you around. You wake up in the middle of the night with the resolution to your character’s dilemma. Or how to weave the subplot into the main story so you’re not telling two entirely different stories in the same book.
You understand how each character thinks and differentiate their speech patterns. You make dialogue flow because you understand your characters.
You’re not afraid to tweak the plot or delete a scene because you know you are making a better story.
Even On the Bad Writing Days, You Care
Every writer has days when the writing doesn’t flow and it feels like wading through mud. Or the time when your suspect seems obvious and you aren’t challenging your detective—or reader.
But, when you love your story you make it through those days. You know that writing in the mud is just one day and its better to write than not write.
Or, on those days when you think skipping a writing day won’t matter, but your character tells you to write the next scene…now. That’s you, caring about your story.
Your Story is Yours
No one has your voice. No one else has your thoughts or ideas. Your experiences, dreams, hopes, and fears are yours alone. No one else can write this story. Your story—like your fingerprints—is your own.
Give your characters their voice and let your story speak for you. If someone else wrote the story, your own style would show. The voice in your writing shows the way you sound and the way you view the world.
Your characters are your characters.
When you finish your story, it’s unlike any other story in the world.
Neil Gaiman gave this advice in The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction :
Make your art. Do the stuff that only you can do. The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that’s not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.
Tell Your Story
So go ahead, tell your story. It’s yours. Love it. You’ll have a unique story that only you could tell. Readers can tell.
Ready to write your mystery? Check out the online course Write A Killer Mystery.