Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Great Idea Deserves Great Writing

I think it's true that great writing can carry a humdrum, cliched or just plain dumb idea, but it doesn't work the other way around. A great idea cannot save terrible writing. I see this often when reading submissions. The idea of the story is interesting, different or intriguing. But the story itself just isn't so great. Maybe the characters are too cliched. Maybe the plot comes to a weak resolution. Maybe there are just too many passive sentences and adverbs. Whatever the reason, the idea itself cannot carry the weak writing.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that you have most likely come up with a wonderful story to tell. It's all yours. It means something to you. It's exciting and speaks to you. Well, then, give it your best! Your great idea deserves to be written well, and you can do it. Be bold. Don't hold back. Don't be satisfied with what's easy. Go to workshops and learn. Get critiqued and give critiques. Revise, revise, revise, and don't give up.

Your great idea is worth the effort it takes to write it well. Now get out there and do it!

17 comments:

ali said...

I needed this confirmation today of what I've been feeling in my prayers. The feeling I keep getting is "slow down, take your time, it will come." Meaning, don't worry or stress that I'm not making deadlines (self-imposed), but to take my time to LOVE my story. To love it well enough to spend time with it--even if it's way more time than I'd hoped--to help it shine and be it's BEST. Because THEN. Then the success will come.

But only if I first don't worry about the success (or lack thereof), and worry only about telling my story in the very best way I know how.

Thanks for this Angie!

Sheila said...

Thanks Angie for giving such wonderful advice. I need to hear things like this that encourage me so much.

Thanks also to Ali. What you said was also very helpful to a newbie like me.

LTM said...

excellent post, Angie! I couldn't agree more. Thanks for the admonition~ :o) <3

Christine Fonseca said...

Love this! And I totally agree.

Angela Felsted said...

It's a good post. I admit I get a tad insecure reading it, because there are so many rules that writers break regularly . . . how do you know good writing when you see it?

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Yes, it's kind of like telling a joke. Even the best joke, told poorly will fall flat.

Jan Markley said...

Great advice Angie - don't hold back!

Melissa said...

This is awesome advice

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks so much for this advice, Angie! It's easy to get excited about an idea, write something up, and want to share it with others, but sometimes you have to slow down, revise, edit, revise, edit, give it to people to read, edit, revise some more before that shiny idea can become a great and well-written story.

Angie said...

Thanks, all. I'm glad this rings true for you. Angela, I think I may have to do a post about rule-breaking and writing. I don't think there's a single rule to writing that can't be successfully broken! I hadn't thought about jokes, Terry, but your exactly right. Well, thanks for stopping by and commenting everyone. I love hearing your thoughts.

lotusgirl said...

This is what I'm working on. I think my idea for WIP 1 is great. It's just the writing that needs work and I'm working on it. Slowly but still working.

Nichole Giles said...

Beautifully put, Angie. And I agree. Thanks.

BTW, love your new background.

Christina Lee said...

Yes, Madam! Well said and so very true!

Jenn Johansson said...

Great post. I think it will do us all some good to remember this when we're in the final stretch. If it's worth writing, it's worth doing right.

Danyelle said...

So true, Angie! It's interesting how great writing can make even the most mundane thing sparkle with magic, while poor writing puts up dust and smoke between the reader and the story. Definitely we need to remember this more often--that we should give it our best which means rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. :)

Cami Checketts said...

Too true. It's always good to remember to slow down and make sure the story is well-written and not waste that fabulous idea. Now if I could just dream up the fabulous idea!

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm toying with a bold idea right now and I'm surprised by how much fun it is. =D Let's hope it turns out half so well, huh?