Revising Your Stories

As every day writers we have a lot of power.  We regularly make things come out the way we want them to. Especially in fiction, but also in non.  Whatever you write, you decide what it will say.  It is your call what the piece of writing will accomplish and how you wish to get there.

We can, no matter what our skill or experience as a storyteller, re tell our own stories.  Make them come out the way we want them to.

Say you have submitted your work to a publisher or agent (client or employer).  We all know how this can turn out: you either hear nothing or that they are “not interested at this time.”

At this point, there is a choice we can make about the story we wish to tell about this.  Sure, you can march on about how your work stinks and no one will ever want to read it.  Or sit staring with a dazed expression, asking why.  Maybe they even told you why which might have hurt even more, left you feeling more confused.

As an every day writer, however, you can see that there are different ways this story can be told.  The facts of the matter are what they are. It would be fun to write the story where the publisher says, “Your book is wonderful!  We can’t wait to have it.”  But there’s no need to deny reality.  You can start from where you are, with the truth of the situation.

What if you decided to change the next chapter to read about how you feel inspired because you wouldn’t really be a writer if you didn’t go through rejection?  You might go on to explain that’s just one person’s opinion.  There are many other people in the world.  You can still believe in what you’ve written.  You can finish the story of how the next publisher took you on and your publishing career was launched!

So get busy and rewrite your stories.  As an every day writer, you can do this 15 minute  exercise easily. Sit with your first reaction to the situation (whatever it may be).   And then see if you can change the scene.  Write, “How else could I see this?  Is there another way to describe this?”  True, it is about finding the positive slant.  But why not?  Doesn’t it feel better?

This works for all kinds of situations.  A lover leaving, an opportunity missed, or the food you ordered not being as good as you expected, the show being cancelled.  Give yourself a few minutes to write through your anger or disappointment and come out with a fresher perspective.

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