by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Trying to gain perspective about our own writing is like getting the right clothes on; it takes practice to know what really looks good for our body type. The same is true for editing our own work. When we are so close to what we are doing, forget objective, at least try for some distance.
One way to do this is to consider our story from a 180 degree view. What would happen if we considered the flip side?
Everyone is familiar with the front side of a peacock, but how about the flip side? On my recent vacation I had fun taking this fellow’s picture. He was all about the strutting and performing for us, which can distract one from the real show. Imagine my delight when he turned around and I got the view below. A completely different perspective.
When a reader opens our story and begins to make assumptions about who we are as writers and craftspeople, let’s make sure even our backside looks good. Use correct grammar and punctuation, good story lines, fabulous characters and hidden secrets which move the character’s story arcs along to a rewarding conclusion.
If writing a contemporary light romance, consider how a mystery would impact your story. If we like writing horror, how would a sci-fi element change your characters? Right now I am reading “A Discovery Of Witches,” by Deborah Harkness and I love it; vampires, witches, daemons, time travel and all. Sometimes more is better.
Don’t box yourself into thinking your story is one-dimensional. Good writers torture their characters with problems and challenges, then clean it all up at the end with lessons learned. Think of your storyline as a playground and see what happens. If nothing else, it will help you feel stronger about your plot line or open new avenues you have not considered.
Remember to think about the flip side. Let’s make sure even our fuzzy peacock butts, er, story butts look good!