Saturday, December 10, 2005

Why write this story?

The post brought the return of the Donald Maass book from my critque partner who hopefully found it as useful as I did.It was a good time to get it back. I know some people find him frightening, but I find him rather comforting. I like the way his mind works. I am probably wierd, but I have known that for awhile!

I dipped into the book at the Stakes chapter.
At the end of the chapter one section struck me. Whenever you are writing a book, you need to know WHY you are are writing the book. And if I stopped writing this particular wip WHY would it matter. The old why question again.

There are many valid reasons for writing a particular book, but I do think it is helpful to know WHY you have to write this particular book now at this given moment in time and space.

Why am I writing PBB? Because the hero would not leave alone and kept whispering in my ear, because I really want to write about roman marriage and show another more human side to Rome. Because the conflicts of the characters interest me. And ultimately because it is a story I feel the need to write.

If I stopped writing this particular book, why would it matter? Because I want to tell Lupus and Aemilia's story. Because I keep thinking about the story. Because I hate leaving anything half done. Because I believe in this story and its ability to speak to people other than myself. Because I love the characters and would hate to think their story would be untold. Because the subject interests me and then it would haunt me and I'd be writing a version of it anyway. Because it has captured my imagination and refuses to let go.

The purpose of the exercise was to remind me that I am writing from my heart. If you write from the heart it shows in the stakes you give your characters, and the situations they face. Because you care, it shines through in your writing. Or at least that is the theory...

So go on -- do a little soul searching. Why are you writing your wip and why do you need to finish it? Are the stakes high enough for you?


Anna Louise Lucia said...

Well said, Michelle.

Why I'm writing (or revising) my WIP? Because Alan and Mari deserve to have their story read, and I deserve to have my talent recognised.

There. I've come a long way to say that. :-)

Donna Alward said...

Uh Oh.

I'm writing AAF because Avalon requested the full. Plain and simple. Otherwise it would languish away.

Windover is different. I can't wait to get back to it because my characters need to be finished and deserve their HEA. Their story is one I want to tell, and I love telling it.

I'm sure all that shows too. In both cases. :-(

Julie Cohen said...

Good question, and one that's at the forefront of my mind at the moment.

My last book and this one have become very personal to me. The conflicts of the characters deal with loss and pregnancy. My last book was incredibly hard to write because I was going through myself what my heroine had gone through and what she was frightened of going through again. It was important that I wrote it, though, to deal with some of my own emotions.

And it's important that I write this book I'm writing now, to give my heroine and hero a happy ending that I haven't yet experienced myself. To reaffirm that it can happen.

It's really bloody difficult. But as you said, it does mean I'm writing from the heart.

(Sorry to come in late to this topic--this is the type of thing I can't write about on my own blog and it's good to say.)

Michelle Styles said...

Glad it gave you some place to write about it, Julie.
It is very good that you are writing it from the heart!

Donna -- as I know you are back at Windover, good foryou for knowing the difference.
Anna -- you have come a long way. And fingers crossed 2006 is your year!