Have you ever seen a two year old tantrum? The amount of energy they expend in their screaming and body stomping is incredible. Just try picking them up in the middle of a tantrum…get ready for a bruise or two.
Kids go through a stubborn stage in preschool that is intense. As parents we pray everyone will survive it and most of all we never give in.
What inspires such tantrums? The desire to have their way. Sometimes what they want isn’t all bad, but the timing or quantity makes it a bad choice.
As writer’s sometimes we go through a stubborn phase. You know that moment when you decide to ignore the rules and the voices around you to reach for uniqueness?
Sometimes that stubbornness is for good reason to protect our voice, but more often it is the ache of letting go of something we love whether it is right or wrong.
How do you determine if your stubbornness is to protect your voice or merely a stubborn desire to hold on to something you love?
*Consider the Source. Does the source that has recommended change have the skills to know what they are talking about? If so, you should consider the recommendation more carefully.
*Pray about the advice to determine if it changes the story God gave you to write. Does it impact the spiritual truth you feel is meant to be revealed in your novel?
*Analyze Other Novels in Your Genre. Take a look at that particular element of other novels in your genre. Does your analysis match the recommendation or oppose it?
*Get a Second Opinion from a Reliable Source. If you are diagnosed with a deadly disease, you get a second opinion. Diagnosing problems in your novel should be no different. Ask someone with skill in this area to give you their opinion.
*Does It Break The Rules Of Your Fiction Genre? Sometimes we can break the rules, but the newer the writer the fewer the rules you can afford to break if you want to be published.
*Does It Change Your Voice? Voice is the combination of word choice, sentence structure, pacing and rhythm to your writing. Have an objective reader look at your work with a before and after. Ask them if they think it is the same writer and which one they like better. Make sure this individual is a skilled writer.
Find a few reliable writing craft sources or blogs that can help you analyze the validity of the recommendation. Here are a few of my favorites:
The end goal as a writer is publication. If something that you are being stubborn about is keeping you from being published, make sure that your reason for avoiding the change is to protect your voice or the story truth that you feel God intended for you to write.
How do you determine if you’re being stubborn to protect your voice or just because you don’t want to let go of something you love?