Once again, I received some good advice. In my previous post I mentioned the message in Invictus, yesterday it was an email from a friend.
It came just in time, as I was wondering what to do with the comments from early readers on my novel and wanting to tear my hair from my head and screaming (again) “WHAT THE HELL AM I THINKING!”
Having people read your early attempts at literary greatness (lol) can be a very helpful thing; they help you to look at your work with fresh eyes, notice holes in the plot that you must have been blind to miss before, see how excruciatingly boring your characters are, etc. etc. However, it can also be confusing because, who do you believe? Especially when the comments are conflicting; love this, don’t like that, keep this, cut that, boring dialogue, love the dialogue!
Well, here is the advice and this is what I’ll be doing from now on:
I just wanted to tell you that at some point, you have to forget what you’ve read, what people tell you, what we tell you, and write your story the way you want to write it. You are the only person who knows the story from beginning to end, the only person that can charm the reader, deceive him, blindfold and lead him into your world. Do it with authority. Remember The King’s Speech?
Speech therapist Lionel, of the stuttering King George VI of England, challenges his authority by sitting down on his throne at the Westminster Abby without permission. The King struggles to pronounce the words, “get up, you can’t sit there, get up”.
Lionel says: “Why not; it’s just a chair”
King: “It’s not just any chair, its sir Edward’s chair (the King’s father)”
Lionel: “Yes, but his name is not carved on it”
King: “Listen to me… listen to me…”
Lionel: “Why should I waste my time listening to you?”
King struggles angrily: “be…be…be…because, I’ve got a voice!”
YOU also have a voice.