No, this is not about how all writers should be able to touch their toes. If it was, I would definitely not qualify.
This is about flexibility in writing, and how important it is to be able to take what you have written and change it if it needs to be changed.
Personally, I struggle with this part of writing. Sure, I can edit a section of text to make it flow better, improve the grammar or make it easier to read, but I struggle to change entire portions of the story, even if it would improve the overall reading experience. While some authors can cut and paste entire scenes or even chapters, I struggle to remove single paragraphs.
So the motto of today’s tip is: “Don’t be like me.”
Instead, be like a more handsome, funnier and above all more flexible me…
Yeah, good luck with that.
Speaking seriously, being flexible means that you can take what you have written and alter it on the fly. If your writing leads you down a certain path (and not the one you had planned out in the beginning), follow it and see where it leads. I had multiple occasions of this while writing Awakening.
For example, Barsch was originally planned as a very mild, normal character who is kind and generally faultless. However, while writing his story, his violent nature and guilt-ridden past emerged and he became more complex and nuanced as a result. Kingston, in his own way, was much less mysterious and suspicious of Alza in his initial character plan. Without wishing to spoil anything, even major events like the journey through the desert evolved beyond its initial scope.
And being flexible is not just limited to the writing part of writing. Cover design, pricing, release methods, promotions. Being flexible with all of these things allows you to be more reactive to a changing world and stay relevant with your readers.
To summarize, have a plan for your story, but do not be afraid to change that plan if it leads to a more engaging and exciting story. You are the author, and you have the power to change your story as you see fit. If you do, you will find that the story that emerges may not be the one you had planned, but it will be infinitely better.
Thanks for listening! My next writing tip is “Be Prepared to Work Hard”, look forward to it!
And remember, even if your destination changes, Never Lose Your Stride!