Check Your Story’s Nervous System

Take a moment and think of your writing as a living thing. That’s probably not that big a stretch since, as living things do, your writing  changes, adapts, reacts to feedback and other stimuli.  Our nervous system sends, receives, and interprets information from internal and external sources.
Your writing’s nervous system does the same thing. When you write, you create a story from the realm of nothingness. Your first draft enters the territory of the potential. Then the backbone of the story, the nervous system, begins to develop.
Whether you’re writing a novel or short fiction, the story must be strong and clear. You do that with a combination of what happens (plot) and how it’s told (style).
Your writing sends, receives, and interprets information from your own creativity and well as from stimuli outside yourself. It moves your reader from seeing words to seeing images. Writing holds readers when it challenges them with questions they want to read on and find the answers to.
Create an experience readers can relate to and interpret through their own lives and points of reference, through their own nervous system.
So, how does your story’s nervous system check out? Use these tips to help you.
  • Is the story strong enough to hold the reader?
  • Is the story clear to others (not just you)?
  • Does the story offer questions to compel the reader to read on?
  • Does the story contain action-powered images?
  • Can readers relate to the story (relationships, experiences, feelings, etc.)?
  • Does the story show the characters’ motivations?
  • Do the characters act and react appropriately or realistically?

Health professionals encourage us to lose weight and exercise for better lives. The same goes for your writing. The leaner your writing, the better it is. Give your story’s nervous system a check-up once in awhile.

Happy writing!


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