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  1. Brett Ryan
    August 10, 2018 @ 11:24 pm

    To me the hardest part of telling a story is laying it out, and then having to go back and edit it down. Some pieces of the puzzle that are crucial to an outside reader might just feel like filler fluff during a re-read of your own work.

    The easiest example of this for non writers might be watching the Director’s Cut of your favorite film, chances are it’s way more engaging and has a better flow. Chances are the studio made decisions to cut out scenes they felt were too long or didn’t score properly in their test groups, but the Director knew how those pieces were an important anchor.

    I like to break my story down into it’s simplest beats, and then forget about it for a week or two. After I revisit it and give it a read with fresh eyes flaws are way easier to spot.


    • Andrea Elisabeth Kovarcsik
      August 11, 2018 @ 12:44 am

      Thanks for commenting, Brett! I really appreciate it!

      I agree and have the same problem. That’s why I’m a fan of outlining before writing. That helps me get the story out chapter by chapter so that I know what I’m writing when I actually get to writing, rather than writing into the ether, which leaves me leaving lost and overwhelmed.

      Editing is hard too. Like you said, we might not recognize the important of something since we are too close to the work. I’m having the opposite problem in revising my novel. I feel it should be a bit longer, but I don’t know what to add or where to add it, precisely because I don’t want there to be too much fluff.

      I’ve never paid attention to the differences between the theatrical cut and director’s cut of a movie. But I will try that experiment for sure now!

      And putting your story down and letting it rest for a while is a good way to edit it as well, as you say. I have a few short stories on the go now, but I haven’t touched them in a while for that reason. 🙂


  2. Ryan Morton
    September 5, 2018 @ 2:52 am

    I’m a firm believer in imperfection, but not all criticism is equal. Some people aren’t great at constructive criticism, or don’t recognize the importance of balancing positive and negative feedback. Your relationship matters too. I have trouble accepting criticism from my wife. Even though I know she intends well, there are time I’ve had to ask her to restrict herself to positive feedback because I feel her opinion so acutely.


    • Andrea Elisabeth Kovarcsik
      September 5, 2018 @ 1:06 pm

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks so much for commenting. I really appreciate it. 🙂

      I agree with you. When taking the leap and asking for feedback, it’s important to make sure you’re asking someone whom you know will be able to give constructive criticism. And in a way that isn’t hurtful. So it’s not just about mustering up the courage to ask someone to read your work, it’s about asking the right people as well.


  3. Victoria Haviland
    February 27, 2024 @ 10:16 am

    i am stuck… i write these 1000 instances.. personal memories.. that i’ve plucked… strange.. curious… that would make for a great start for a story.. but since they are memories… i can only write as far as it is… they make good strong reading… but i cant seem to make that leap into using it for a story… i dont have any grasp on what a story could be… it just isnt there… i dont know how to even begin….


    • Andrea Elisabeth
      February 27, 2024 @ 2:53 pm

      Hi Victoria,

      Thanks for your comment here! I wrote a longer response to your comment on my post about Lessons From Novel-Writing, that I invite you to check out. If you’re stuck on how to turn an idea into a story, I highly recommend you read the book Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need. See my response to your comment for the full story. 🙂


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