When Is It Enough?

I’ve been working on a project that needs me to talk about the craft of fiction writing.

Reading through all the rules made me wonder if 4 years of writing have given me enough craft to carry me through.

Do I know enough?

The answer: It depends on what draft I’m at.

If I’m doing the 1st draft I forget the rules and write from my gut. In subsequent drafts, I worry about the rules.

More and more, I find I’ve learned some rules enough to break them to good effect. I have a long way to go, though, and I don’t think it will ever be enough for me. I’ll always be stuck with new things to learn.

What about you? Where do you stand on the writing craft? Do you feel confident about your craft–like you’ve learned enough?

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Add Yours
  1. C.D.Kintzer

    The more I write, the more I learn that I still have much to learn. For me, writing is funny that way. Writing exposes the gaps in my knowledge.

  2. Libby

    It took me a long time to go from bad to mediocre, I think I'm just past mediocre and see good on the horizon. I always always always want to get better.

  3. Mina Lobo

    I think I'm great at some things and have much to learn in others. I always find I need intelligent, objective eyes to point me in the right direction when I'm so immersed in the work that I can't see what needs improving. And fundamentally, I reckon a true artist, in any creative field, must feel that learning and growth continue until his or her heart stops beating, and that we learn best by *doing*, no? 🙂
    Some Dark Romantic

  4. stuartnager

    I'm not even sure if "knowing" the rules is all we need anymore. IF it gets to the publisher stage, they have editors to rip us apart; if we are just at the critique stage, hopefully our beta readers will be kinder.

    I'm just writing, and kinda always throw the idea of rules away.

  5. Annalisa Crawford

    I write my way. I have enough rules to follow in every day life, writing is mine! I learn most from my rejections – why did that fail, how can I change it, etc?

  6. Gail M Baugniet - Author

    My WIP is at the 2nd draft stage (though it is difficult to tell if it is the 3rd revision of draft 1 or the first edit of draft 2).

    With the 2nd draft, I am opening myself up to critiques from others because I can no longer "see the forest for the trees." I may know the rules, but don't always follow them (show, don't tell; cut, cut, cut …)