Apr 11 2012

Writers Say Change But Most Readers Say Stand Pat

Posted by Mathias

It is funny. Or maybe it is sad. Several people are reviewing my recent draft of Under the Darkened Moon and it is easy to tell who is a writer and who is a reader based on their comments.

Everyone who is a “writer” has a plethora of suggestions. Not all of them are bad suggestions. But a lot of them I consider petty and nothing more than being along the lines of “I wouldn’t do [insert item here] that way”. Is it wrong I ask? Of course they say it is not but stress how they would change said item if it were their story. Ok, so I am basically chalking such things up as style conflicts between myself and them.

Now flip to the group who are “readers” of fantasy novels. Being my target audience I care more about their opinions. Those petty discussion points of not doing something a “certain way” almost never come up. The reader group has actually caught a few minor contradictions in the plot that I had missed but that the authors group completely missed while they were busy trying to make my writing more like their own. And the reviews have been more positive from those that are readers compared to authors. The group of readers of fiction are more apt to suggest not changing anything except the obvious errors.

Moving forward the story’s edits are coming along well. I hate to cut out the “authors” from the editing process but I am seriously finding that their comments are far less helpful than those who consume such stories for pleasure.

Aug 24 2011

How To Get Conflict Going

Posted by Mathias

I was sitting down today and thinking about conflict and how we as authors get to the conflicts that drive the stories we write.

Every story needs conflict.  Without it, nothing happens of any importance and no one cares about the story and the characters contained within.

As writers we must set up the conflict.  But before we can do that though we have to know what the conflict will be.  How you set up conflict is important and it is imperative that the reasons for conflict makes sense.  The best character in the world becomes boring without something that motivates him or her to move forward or backward in life.

To be honest, there really are not that many reasons conflict exists on a grand scheme although the details are what make them unique and intriguing to the reader.  Do not think for one minute that you have some unique conflict that has never been seen before.  Everyone major story arc has been tried and written at some point.  Again though, it is the details that make the story unique even if the overall plot driven by the conflict is not. (more…)