So, let’s get right to it, shall we?
Pixar’s next rule is one that I struggle with the most, I think. Well, okay, I struggle with character, and plot, and voice, and a lot of other things, but unlike those, this one truly scares me.
With experience and practice, a writer can master all the craft issues that entail a well-rounded story. You can learn to give your characters depth. Plotting is just about organizing your scenes to draw the reader on a trail of questions they feel compelled to find the answers for. And voice comes with confidence, which, in turn, comes from experience (I hope).
But this next rule? It takes courage.
I don’t mean the wimpy everyday kind of courage we talk about. No, it’s not about getting enough gumption to ask your boss for a raise. Or demand better service from your local grocery store. Or, even, face your neighbor about their late-night parties.
Nope. This is about baring your soul. To the world. To an unsympathetic, haughty audience that is just looking to knock you down a notch or two.
What am I talking about?
Finish your story, let go, even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world, you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
Last month, I started to let some of my stories go. I submitted several to various markets. Half have been rejected. The other half I am waiting to hear back, but I’m expecting more rejections.
And that’s okay.
I’ve gotten enough rejections in the past four years that I’ve developed a fairly thick skin towards form rejections. However, I wasn’t prepared for…how shall I word this properly…oh…let’s say… insulting personal feedback.
Apparently, one of my stories confused an editor so much, they wrote back to let me know I submitted the most confusing story s/he had ever read. They also mentioned I should learn to “paint a picture (with words)”.
That hurt. For a moment, I thought, I should just stop. Why am I trying so hard? I obviously do not have a gift for writing. Story-telling is difficult for me, and I’ve been earnestly trying since 2009. Why am I putting myself through this torture?
In my very next thought, I answered myself:
Because next time, I’ll do better.
Write well, my friends, and heed the Pixar legend – do better.
- Rule #7 (nilaewhite.wordpress.com)
- Follow up on Rule #6 (nilaewhite.wordpress.com)
- Rule #6 (nilaewhite.wordpress.com)
- Rule #5 (nilaewhite.wordpress.com)
- Rule #4 (nilaewhite.wordpress.com)
- Rule #3 (nilaewhite.wordpress.com)
- Redux Rule #2 (nilaewhite.wordpress.com)
- Rule #2 (nilaewhite.wordpress.com)
- Rule #1 (nilaewhite.wordpress.com