Rule O: Own your story
Linda’s Rules of Writing
We’re onto the letter O in Linda’s Rules of Writing of the A to Z Challenge and Owning your story.
When I first decided that writing for publication was important, I immediately starting everyone my stories and asking them for their opinion. I’d watch people as they read the stories, to see if they laughed in the right places. When they made comments, I didn’t think about them. I just figured that if they made comments, it was a call for action.
Somewhere along the way, the stories I was writing got lost because I wasn’t thinking about what I intended for the story. Not everyone’s opinion is a call for action, and in fact, one of the people I relied on heavily for opinions wouldn’t have known fiction from a tree stump.
Own your story. Your name is the one going on it.
It was a good thing I got skilled at filtering critiques. Several years ago, I decided to write my book in omniscient viewpoint, not realizing I was evidently breaking a rule. About half a dozen writers jumped all over me for merely using the viewpoint and did not critique the story at all. The result was this article Critiquing Omniscient Viewpoint, published in Vision: A Resource for Writers. The story was not harmed by the critiques, though the writer was temporary bent out shape.