Paying the Viking's Price

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Keep your eye on the donut

I have a new mantra, courtesy of Isabel Swift. Keep your eyes on the donut, and not the hole. She kindly shared her words of wisdom in the comments section of her latest blog.
Isabel's blogs are always interesting, and currently she is doing a series of editor profiles. It is one of the blogs I always check.
What the saying means is to keep focusing on telling the best story possible. If it works, don't fix it, and do not get to didactic. If it doesn't work, then you can start looking at the reasons why, but why fix something that isn't broken. The flow of the story is important.
As I, like a number of other writer friends, have been suffering from the Crows of Doubt lately, it is what I needed to hear.
The most important to my editors and to my readers is to deliver the best donut (i.e. the best story) possible.
Intuition and instinct play a big part in story telling. You nknow when something feels right. It is just sometimes the cry of the Crows is so loud that it drowns out the lure of the donut.

6 comments:

India said...

Keeping my eye on a doughnut (especially if it's Krispy Kreme...) is such an appealing thought that maybe it'll keep me going through the first few chapters of this book, which is the bit I find hardest to write.

(Either that or it'll make me gain 10lbs by the halfway stage, but it has to be worth a try!)

xx

Michelle Styles said...

Yes, well there is a thought.
Should one be doing research on doughnuts/donuts? Can they be considered to be another food group?
there again, one is suppose to keep one's eye on it and not one's teeth...

Donna Alward said...

And then there is the problem of yeast donuts, that have no hole.

Homer Simpson would adore this conversation.

Isabel Swift said...

Mmmmmmm, tasty! Aside of the obvious deliciousness of the metaphor, it's also a reminder to me that looking dead center (or at the obvious) isn't always where the important stuff is. Sometimes that's where the hole is (yeast donuts excepted).

And you need to look beyond the front of your nose and follow your nose (so to speak) to scent and sense what's really important. And, as Michelle notes, it's not about listening to the Crows. Though they can be loud and frightening, they rarely have anything important to say.

Donna Alward said...

it's also a reminder to me that looking dead center (or at the obvious) isn't always where the important stuff is.

Oh wow, a little bit of a tangent but this reminded me so much of what you tell me about subtext.

I like the idea of ignoring crows...as they do tend to natter on.

Michelle Styles said...

Thank you for stopping byIsabel. As always, you r insight is greatly aprreciated.
I find this to be true of revisions at times. The hole can be pointed out, but discovering the reason for the hole can be important. Sometimes, the solutions are obvious and sometimes they are less obvious, but work better.

And yes, I love the idea that Crows rarely have anything useful to say...

Many thanks.