C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

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Writers: Story first. Message last.

Solar panels, thermal energy, wind power, nuclear power, the fact that you can read these words in pixels: Ours is a sci-fi continent in a horror world. The horror world is patrolled by robot drones whose pilots are on the other side of the planet raining death on warmongers and civilians alike.

So where are you in this world? Does your fiction enhance understanding? Are you making anything better? Is that even your job as a writer?

You may have a lot to say and a lot to teach, but don’t start from that place. Your themes will emerge from your story. And let your readers draw their conclusions instead of telling them what to think and how to feel.

It’s tempting to speechify. My first drafts are full of speeches. Then I cut it, or break it up or intersperse action or provide another character’s counterpoint to increase tension, drama and conflict.

A good story well told will evoke emotions. Find the truth of those emotions and people will read your story all the way through. And after they’ve closed your book they’ll still have something to think about.

Start from the message and they won’t get to the end of your book.

Filed under: Writers, writing tips, , ,

One Response

  1. rozmorris says:

    Absolutely, Rob. I see a lot of manuscripts where characters give long speeches about the concerns of the world, instead of getting on and living. Off to tweet…

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