Let’s Talk about Story

Or not!

It’s a question raised continuously whenever creating. Particularly when it is a longer work. People find out you’re writing a novel and they want to know what it’s about. Of course. Nothing wrong with that. Curiosity is the greatest boon to any successful creative project. The books say to have your story blurb. That’s good. I have one of those but for most people it isn’t enough. They want to know more. Always more.

But if you tell them too much then they won’t read it.


I’m not too sure if this is a personal process quirk or not. I don’t discuss story until I’ve created a complete first draft. After that, full access is given to my trusted readers and their developmental suggestions. I feel that too much early outside input can slow down the creative process. Too many options and questions can come from it. 

I don’t subscribe to the myth of the lonely writer. If it works for you that is great. It doesn’t work for me. I firmly believe that a successful novel or story is the work of a multitude of people, whether they be external readers and editors or those nagging internal others that just might co-inhabit the swirling insides of our skulls. My best work has been the subject of debate by many dear friends and readers. My not so good stuff has only come from lonesome old me.

But the real question today is whether or not you, fellow writers, feel the same way. Do you like to discuss story right from the beginning of a project? Do you wait until a certain amount of content has been created? Do you seek assistance after the first draft? Or are you of the lonely writer sort?

So let’s talk about story. Or not.

Sound off in the comments.



5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk about Story

  1. I definitely do not feel comfortable letting anyone read my work in the early stages. Definitely not comfortable giving my work for anyone to see until the second or third draft. That includes talking about it and what I’ve written/plan to write. Creativity comes from within, and I guess I want to listen to myself first and find that unique inner story voice. Can’t do that when I have so many opinions fighting for my attention. But I do plan letting some people review my book after I’ve edited it four or five times.

    Of all the articles I’ve written, the ones that I have been most proud of are on my blog. It literally drives me insane whenever an editor edits my article and I feel a part of my writing voice dies when a point is cut out or the sentences shuffled around – and I have no choice but to submit. It befuddles me as to why so many writers want to submit to certain writing standards to get published. I’ll end off by saying that just as our writing styles changes over time, content and stories change over time too.

    1. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy learning about your insight. I’ve always found people to be so diverse in their approach to things, which makes me want to learn more. It’s been particularly strong since I have now traveled abroad. I am by no means experienced but I have a taste for it.

      I agree that creativity comes from within. But I also think that creativity can be augmented by our relationships, especially with our trusted readers. Getting that first creativity from within on the page is the most important.

      During my recent employment search I’ve had to really forge my cover letters specifically for an audience. It’s been really difficult for me to do because I have a style but HR doesn’t care about style. I’m learning the hard way. At the same time, blogging is a great way to cultivate and develop our true voice. Keep on writing your articles in your beautiful voice.

      1. Agree with you there that the people around us can inspire us to do what we do. Doesn’t hurt to have a second opinion as sometimes that can help us see things in a new light and lead us to think about things we’ve never thought about before.

        Good luck with things on the employment front. Cover letters are always tricky to write ://

  2. I can only comment on this first work I’ve started. In the beginning, I immediately regretted telling anyone that I was working on a book. They all wanted to know what it was about and I just couldn’t answer. I hadn’t written enough to give a complete summary. In the future, I don’t think I’ll tell anyone until I have a first draft finished. At least then I’ll have a solid beginning, middle and end.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Having that first complete draft is so important I think for discussion so that the real work of rewriting can get done. To me, that is the hard work of writing. Not that I don’t enjoy it. I do. Ridiculously so in fact. But it is more about moving things around and subtracting and adding. Still wonderful and necessary and oh so satisfying, but not like the freedom of creating new.

      Thanks for sharing.

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