Sunday, August 10, 2014

Crafting Concepts

Hi everyone!  Nice to see you!

Today I wanted to talk about concepts and how to craft one.  Sounds simple right?

Well, maybe not so much.

Every writer has story ideas - they come to us in all forms.  Sometimes we get a flash in the pan idea, at other times a whole storyline, and sometimes it's just snippets of scenes and dialogues.  Some writers even overhear or see something and that sets their mind to whizzing.

But my question is this - should we write the first story that pops into our mind, and is this the best way to create a story that will gain you a strong readership.

I'm all for a passionate writer (you have to write the story you want to write, after all), but I'm an even bigger advocate for sitting down with your initial concept and crafting it into being something stronger than it originally started as.

And how do you do that?

If you look at how your concept compares to other books, you'll soon see there will be room to craft it into something stronger.  When you study it, you'll need to ask some questions -is it the same as every other book in your genre?  Is there something unique about your story and how it's told?  Really think about this.  A lot of our first ideas are similar to other people's as we have the influence of everyone's ideas all day long (media, conversations, books, movies, etc).  Our minds are a huge storage place for everything we've seen and heard, so it's only natural our brains will kick out ideas that resonate most quickly with our experiences.

Of course, some people do have sudden concepts come that aren't in need of crafting, but I can bet sure money that a majority of concepts need crafting.

Once you have your idea and have identified what makes your book unique, you need to hone in on your character's desires, conflict and stakes.  Sometimes this is clear, sometimes it's not.  But you have to craft this into your concept too, because if you do it now, you'll have a clearer view of where your book should go when you write it.

Crafting concepts is one of my favorite aspects of the writing process.  Let me know how you craft yours!

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