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Thursday, August 02, 2018

Writing Craft and Instincts

I believe a writer should always strive to improve themselves and hone their skills. There is no one who can't get better because there's no such thing as the perfect book. Recently, I was listening to an audio book that went into how to structure a novel. Turning points, pinch points, etc.

It make me start to get panicky. Some writers are very analytical and structure their writing on principles like these. Me? I'm not analytical at all. I tend to go with my instincts on when to do what. My panic only increased because the story I was working on at the time had a more unusual structure than normal. As I listened to more and more of this how to book, I became more and more concerned that I wasn't following these rules.

This isn't the first time this has happened to me. I have this really weird thing about wanting to read craft books, but also getting panicked every time I do because I'm more of a seat-of-the-pants writer. Not completely. There's a spectrum and I'm probably in the middle, but leaning toward pantsing. I've had writing friends assure me that I am hitting these "beats" that are laid out in these books, but that I'm doing it unconsciously. It doesn't seem to matter. I still get worried and stressed every time. It would probably be smarter to not read or listen to these books/authors, but I can't help myself.

I've reached a point of mostly calm right now. It came because I reminded myself that every time I write, I strive to create the best story I'm capable of at that point in time. As long as a writer is doing their best work and not banging something out without care, they really can't ask more of themselves. Sometimes the best you can do has to be enough.