Critique, Fiction, Group, Novel, Writing

Releasing the story … again

Cherished readers, due to circumstances beyond my control, I’m away from the keyboard today, so I hope you’ll forgive me for a repost.

The writer’s group that I belong to discussed a chapter from my current work last night, and I was reminded of the adage: “Once you tell your story, it no longer belongs to you.”

It is fascinating to hear my characters viewed through the eyes of others. The view is not always favorable, of course, since this group is a microcosm of the reading world, but it is helpful to know the misses as well as the hits.

I must weigh these diverse views. Is Jalal is too perfect or is Jalal too uptight? Is Meredith strong and sure of herself or has she lost her identity? My characters cannot be all things to all people. I have no control over what baggage my reader brings with them into my story, making the same scene “completely real” to one and “over the top” to another.

Writing is like birthing and raising a child. There comes a point when you have to release your child out intoflybird the world. You hope that all you have taught them has taken hold, and they will be all right in the big bad world. Though you know the people they meet will not love and protect them the way you do, you pray that most will treat them well, and you dream they will find someone who cares for them as much as you do.

I can only hope that once I tell this story, someone will make it their own. A million someones would be nice.

18 thoughts on “Releasing the story … again”

  1. Happy as well for the repost. Love the idea of setting something created free to become what it is destined to be…I’ve been saying that for years….great minds and all that….stay true to what feels right to you and then when you release it to the millions out there who will read you? shock and awe Linda, shock and awe…..


    1. Thank you for adding your thoughts, Karen. I just returned from my critique group and right now I feel my “child” might only produce a shrug and a whimper, but it will get there.


  2. At a writer’s circle one evening a lady said that when she writes she envisions someone standing behind her shoulder, taking it all it, but who knows what they see?


  3. Better for readers to have an opinion about your work than for them not to care. Better still is for some to have a favorable opinion. I’m guessing your child will find friends when it leaves you for the world, Linda.


    1. I welcome the insights and opinions of other writers, I think what usually throws me off is that what I expect they will find lacking is never what they do. I do hope I’m not creating an orphan.


  4. I have to say that I laughed when I read Paul’s comment. As I was typing, I thought, “Someone is going to argue for vanilla ice cream.” I decided that was okay. 😉

    I think the point, of course, is not whether or not vanilla ice cream has its advocates. (That sounds like an excellent job title to me – Vanilla Ice Cream Advocate.) It’s that if you try too hard to make sure everyone likes you, you stop taking risks, you stop writing scenes that challenge your readers and make them see things differently than they have before. Remembering that has helped me fight my own tendency to seek unanimous approval.


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