Wednesday, 27 October 2010

What are your tick-boxes?

When you are writing a story, what boxes need to be ticked for you to know it is finished?  And what boxes do you tick in your head after you've read a story by someone else to know it was a good'un?

For me, writing-wise, it's sort of difficult.  I try and look at :

i) character consistency, including consistency of language and motivation
ii) the realism of the character interactions - dialogue, action-re-eaction, etc. 

But both of these pale into significance to how the story makes  me feel.  If it feels complete, it is complete.  Basically, I find my own writing process really difficult to pin down, break down, you know.  It is something I really struggle with,

As far as reading a story is concerned, I look for all the aforementioned, plus

i) interesting use of language
ii) whether it was an original take on a situation
iii) did I cling to every word or did I phase out at particular points?
iv) and at the end, did it make me feel something - that's the big one for me.

What about you?  What do you look for in your own writing, and in the writing of others?  And are you harder on yourself or harder on the work of others?

1 comment:

  1. Am I harder on myself? Yeah. I think you have to be that. Otherwise you (meaning me) tend to write these operatic hey look at me WRITE! opuses (opusi?)that take forever to get anywhere. Back to the tick boxes (hm. that's a great name for an old hound dog I owned once.
    First: Does _every_ sentence advance the plot?
    Second: Clarity of both language and sequence of events.
    Third: Check then check again for economy of language.
    Fourth: Edit, edit, edit.

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