I'm sure we've all felt this way every now and again (well, I hope so or I'm just feeling like an idiot). We write a story, one which we can see perfectly and it sounds like it flows well and is full of action... and is definitely a step up from the gibberish that was the previous draft. Then, when someone takes a little squiz at it you hear "I don't get it".
I've been feeling like this a lot lately. I've been hard at work reading through Haven and as I read closer to the end I keep wondering to myself will anyone be able to understand this besides me?
Since we are the ones writing this story we know exactly what's happening whether that is exactly displayed in the pages is another matter entirely. I've received a couple of critiques of my opening few paragraphs and they totally misconstrued what it was about. One even made the comment that I've got too much back story in the opening. The one problem is, I've got absolutely no back story in the first chapter... I actually haven't put a lot of back story there whatsoever.
This got me thinking. Is what I think I'm writing actually what is getting read by the readers? How can you make certain the true meaning of the story is being heard and the reader can actually follow along? This is where establishing a good critique group or employing beta readers to read for comprehension is the best way to go.
No matter how objective you think you are over that precious manuscript that you've spent months/years perfecting, your still too close to the story and know all the little twists and turns so of course it makes sense to you.
One thing I've also learnt is that not everyone will like that wonderful, perfect story (or be able to fully understand it), so if you only get a couple of negative comments about a way that a scene is set up, then the best thing to do would be to use your gut instincts as to whether you need to make a change, but if everyone suggests that something doesn't feel right then that should mean drop everything to fix that glaring plot hole before anyone else catches it.
So, does anyone else feel this way? And how do you make sure your story makes sense to more people than just you?
Celebrate the Small Things 28-4-17
1 day ago