I wrote a good story the other day during a weekend challenge. (How very vain of me to say so). But this time I got it critiqued. The feedback was that people liked it, but it left them confused, especially at the beginning.
So, this month, I'm investigating how to take a good story and make it great. I'm not one for reworking stories much, but I do like to experiment.
I'm taking advice from two very good writers: Christine Yant (who drew upon her Lightspeed slushing experience) and a related post from Carrie Vaughn.
I'm going to take two approaches:
First: Trying to fix the current story as is.
Second: Starting again. I might have chosen the wrong point of view. And although I don't fancy writing the story from scratch, I'll have a stab.
Christine Yant defined three elements that separated the good story from the great: structure, voice and meaning. I would say that the structure of the story is the weakest:
Quoting Carrie Vaughan:
"Structure: Can you identify the beats in your story? The important scenes and pivotal moments? Are they building toward a climax? Or do things just happen? Have you trimmed everything that doesn’t contribute to the story’s meaning? Can you identify a reason for every single element of the story to be there?"
Well, no. I'm not entirely sure what a beat is. Oh, the shame. Looks like I've got my work cut out.
I'll let you know how I get on.