I'm reading Donald Maas's Writing the Breakout Novel. Have you read it? It's challenging my story ideas, which of course is Donald Mass's point. You don't want to write A Story; you want to write A Breakout Story.
Donald Maas asks a lot of pointed questions, including:
- Why are you writing this story?
- If you stopped writing this story, why would it matter?
Hmmm. Good questions. Can we answer them? I'll go first.
I usually find the purpose for the stories I write in the themes the characters are trying to convey. I think I may have mentioned that before. If I have trouble with a scene, I go back to my theme.
For example, in my last romantic suspense, On Fire, the theme is trust. I wrote the story to express my belief that trust is a vital part of any relationship. If I didn't write that story, I wouldn't be able to express how a lack of trust could destroy a relationship.
In my contemporary romance, which I just completed, Sweet Deception, the theme is identity. That story is important because the conflict is one a lot of people, especially women, experience. Do you define yourself or do you allow others to define you? In addition to entertaining readers, I hope the story inspires those in similar situations to define themselves.
What about you? Why are you writing your story?
Sunday, September 28, 2008