How Epic Is Your Story?
Each event that happens to you is another paragraph that gradually becomes a whole chapter.
The ups and downs, highs and lows, and constantly changing characters are forming the basis for the tale When your novel is complete, what will it be like to read it? Is it a rip roaring rollercoaster of a ride full of excitement and happiness that leaves the reader breathless and excited? Or is it more of a short story with a predictable plot and even more predictable ending? Put simply, are you writing an Epic Story? Are you satisfied with the way your story is unfolding or are you just pretty much going through the motions until THE END? Of course, whether a story is Epic or not is a very subjective one.
You may feel that you can barely hold on as the ride through your life takes all the twists and turns and the chapters come thick and fast.
Somebody else may look at your story, find it boring and just put it down without even being interested in what happens next.
That's OK because all that matters is what YOU think when YOU read it back.
Do you think it's likely to be a bestseller? Or is it going straight in the bargain bin at the gas station? Even though a lot of the characters are different in everyone's story, an Epic story will often contain certain ingredients.
Excitement Surprise Plot twists Happy ending Is your story likely to have these things if you look over your first draft? If you are already starting to doubt the Epicness of your story, what is it that's causing you to feel like that? Do you already know that what's going to happen in the next 5 chapters is not going to interest you? Does it lack those unexpected twists that take you totally by surprise and make you want to keep reading, excitedly, to find out what happens next? If you let a few friends read a couple of your chapters, what do you think their reaction will be? Maybe they wouldn't know an Epic story if they saw one and think yours is perfectly acceptable the way it is.
Don't worry if you're not happy with it so far.
You've not completed the final draft yet.
But what if you want to do a bit of a re-write? Let's say you already have an idea of what the next few chapters are going to be like? Maybe you even have an inkling that the ending may not be to your liking.
It's OK, it's not written yet.
So, what do you think people will say if you take your rough notes for the next part of your story and screw them up and throw them away.
The trouble is, there are going to be some people that go and retrieve those notes, convince you it's too late to change the story now and insist that you should just continue with how it was originally because they think it's fine.
No matter how tightly you screw them up or how far away you throw them, these people keep bringing them notes back, open them up in front of you and tell you that you can't do that.
Who do you think you are anyway? Hemingway? You are the one that has got to hand in the final draft to the publisher.
You have to live with how it reads and how you feel about it.
You have to live with the consequences of that ultimate novel.
So, look at your story so far.
If you don't think it's good enough then it's not too late.
If you want to make sure people don't keep insisting you stick to your original draft, you have to do more than screw up the notes.
You have to rip it up into tiny pieces THEN set fire to it THEN take the ashes to the ocean and get rid of them once and for all.
When you have destroyed that section of your story you have no choice but to write a new one and nobody else can stop you.
And for this section you'll be starting with a nice clean writing pad.
Your story is going to get written regardless so wouldn't it be better to make it Epic?