Friday, October 31, 2008

Make It a Story You Love

When someone asks how to know when a novel is complete, I always say that when it is good enough that the author wants to read it just for the enjoyment of reading it then it is done. Another question we might ask is when we know we have a story idea that is worth writing.

Before I even knew that someone else had written a novel even loosely based on the story of Hosea, I fell in love with the story and decided that I wanted to tell the story that has since become For the Love of a Devil. As always, the first draft was terrible and I asked myself what I was thinking, but after several edits I got the book to the point where I can enjoy the story. Now I am considering my next project. As I look at some of the ideas that pop into my head, I keep wondering if they will make a good story.

I think the key to my next project will be to develop a story for which I love the concept. If I love the concept, after some hard work, I will then be able to produce a manuscript that I love. That doesn't mean that the first draft won't be terrible, but if I love the concept then I can mold the final story into something I love.

A good story has to be molded before it is written. The problems have to be defined. The characters have to be created. There are many things to determine. Once they begin to look like a story I would enjoy, then it is time to begin to write.