Trust the Reader
I have a hunch that the phrase “trust the reader” is going to come out of my mouth a lot this week. Just guessing.
What exactly does that mean in general? Basically, it means to let the readers decide if something you wrote works or not. How do they decide? They spend money on it. If it doesn’t work, they won’t buy it.
Trust the reader.
Sounds so simple, but for most writers, almost impossible, if not flat impossible. Writers have this ego thing that makes them think they are the best judges of their own work. And, of course, no story is ever perfect, so writers come up with the strangest and silliest things to sooth their own egos.
Things like rewriting a bunch of times. Or things like story editors. Or a workshop full of beginning writers. Or a flock of beta readers, whatever those things are.
It all comes from fear, of course. And it comes from a fantastic lack of understanding how the creative process actually works.
About the only rule in all of publishing is this: Writers are the worst judges of their own work. Never seen an exception to this, especially when someone claims they know. They never do.
And writers seldom know what they wrote. This never mattered back in traditional publishing days, but now a writer must figure out a way to find out what they wrote, what genre, what sub-genre.
Yet writers believe they know when a story is perfect, when it is ready to release.
Think of a really good steak, high quality, cut perfectly, ready to cook. But if that steak was a newer writer’s manuscript, they would take a wooden mallet to it and pound it down over and over until it barely held together.
I mentioned once before about automatic release to take this process out of your critical voice control. Write the story, get to the end, and release to one first reader, then fix the mistakes the first reader found and send to a copyeditor, then publish.
Set it up as automatic. No decisions, no value judgements from you, the writer. Don’t pound your poor story into nothingness.
Let the reader decide if it works or not while you are writing the next story.
A lot more fun that way.
This is a bundle you don’t want to miss. And in the process of reading all the wonderful novels in the bundle, I hope you enjoy both the wonderful stories in Fiction River: Pulse Pounders and my very strange but fun golf thriller I wrote called An Easy Shot.
November Online Workshops
Click the workshop tab above for description and sign-up or go to www.wmgpublishingworkshops.com.
Questions about any of the workshops, feel free to write me. Almost no one is signed up yet. I will be writing all the Kickstarter people who got the workshops that way later this week. At that point, some of these might fill up.
Class #41… Nov 1st … Author Voice
Class #42… Nov 1st … Point of View
Class #43… Nov 1st … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #44… Nov 1st … Ideas
Class #45… Nov 1st … Character Development
Class #46… Nov 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… Nov 2nd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #48… Nov 2nd … Cliffhangers
Class #49… Nov 2nd … Pacing Your Novel
Class #50… Nov 2nd …Expectations (Writing on the Rails)
Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.
If you are wondering what order would be best to take some of these workshops, we have done a curriculum for the workshops. You can see that at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/workshop-curriculum/
Totals For Year 4, Month 3, Day 16
Writing in Public blog streak… Day 1,123
— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 00 words
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 00 words
— Blog Posts: 200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 4,500 words
— E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 259 e-mails. Approx. 16,100 words
— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers
— Year of Short Fiction Goal: 120 stories (July 1st to June 30th). Stories finished to date: 8 stories.
— Yearly Novel Goal: 12 Novels. Novels finished to date: 2 novels.