Friday, March 11, 2011

Talking about a story idea

I don't talk about a story idea until I've completed a first draft. The closest thing is to ask someone a question about some detail, and find I'm forced to explain an aspect of the story for the person to be able to answer. And even that makes me horribly uncomfortable, and I've resolved to avoid doing it again at all costs. I have two reasons for this:

1. More often than not when I have done this, the person(s) I told my story to will find some flaw in it or come up with a helpful suggestion, which destroys the idea.

2. (And this is the main one) Talking about the idea relieves the pressure to write it and get it out of my head.

I have a friend who loves to hash out her stories over the phone and it's really hard for me to cooperate with that. Inside, I'm screaming, "Dear god, stop now before you kill this thing!" And, I have to say, she rarely completes a story.

How about you? Do you ever talk about an idea before you've written a first draft of it?


  1. Yes. I post chapters once I've hit about ten thousand words or so.

    But I've been suffering with the same thing now. I've killed enough half-started stories. Maybe I do just need to wallow through it before posting. Hmmm.

  2. Mary! Thank you for following. :)
    It's my experience that 1) stopping for any reason before hitting 50K at least and 2) talking about the story before it's complete are indeed storykillers. Maybe try powering on through and see where it gets you?

  3. Yep. If I talk too much about a story, I totally kill it. I've gotten where I just give a logline. Right now, working on a ya about a boy who goes into witness protection only to discover the town he lives in is all witness protection. I didn't say it was a great logline, just enough to cover the jist of the story and have them nod and go "Hmmm..."

  4. Thanks for following, Margie! And it's always good to know I'm not the only one with my writer-rules, which often seem incomprehensible to nonwriters.

    Your logline is intriguing! How far along is the ms?

  5. I don't mind talking about my stories to writer friends. My other friends (maybe that should be my "other" friends) I don't talk to them about it at all. I'm just not sure non-writerly folk would get it, although I am sure they would be supportive :)

    I can see, though, how keeping it to yourself would make it easier to get through quickly (so then you could talk about it!)

  6. Hi Mare! Thanks for following!

    Yeah, I realize not everyone has my taboos. It's like a visceral thing for me--nails on a chalkboard. I *can't* talk about a WiP. An ms in revision, totally. But if it's not complete, NO. Probably because I did a few times when I was starting out and it killed the idea and I mourned it.