Background artiste from 'Better than Stars'

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Desperately Seeking a Story ...

... and, slightly less desperately, a captivating character or two. A vivid turn of phrase, standard grammar and accurate spelling would come in handy as well: but I don’t think they’re as important.
You don’t agree? Shuffle through a pile of novel openings. Which is the one you don’t want to put down: the beautifully written description, or the tantalising hint of a story to follow? No-one ever got a book deal for their brilliant spelling.
OK, we want to communicate clearly and avoid alienating potential agents and publishers with what looks like illiteracy, but these things can be improved on. An editor who loves your book might even help you. They’re not going to fall in love with your grammar and work with you to develop a story. 
So where do the good stories come from? I wish I could remember the author who replied to that question by saying she wished she knew, because if she did, she’d go there. If you know where they come from, I doubt if you’re going to tell us: you’ll want to keep it to yourself. 
Which leaves me, Susan, desperately seeking a story ...

4 comments:

charlotteotter said...

I don't know where they come from, but I do know that the more I write the more ideas I have.

Sue Sedgwick said...

I so agree Charlotte - I think I've said it before: the more you write, the more you write. I think what I actually need to do right now is to make a commitment to something, sit down and work on the first couple of chapters.

Kate said...

You're right that you need a good story - that killer idea that they can't pass by - but I'm afriad you need the other too - you have to have learned your craft - you can't rely on an editor to be prepeared to do it for you.

Sue Sedgwick said...

True ... couldn't agree more. This is just me, never having had much trouble with grammar or spelling [quick check back over what I've just written - that kind of comment invites all sorts of trouble], admitting that they're skills not worth much on their own