A Story Idea Is Not A Story

There are many reasons I’ve been in a writing funk for the past 5 or 6 months, and a recent blog post by Bob Mayer exposed one that I didn’t even realize had been impacting me.

An idea is not story.

I’ve had a number of ideas that I thought would recharge my writing since the end of last year, and not one of them has taken root. Why? Because not every idea can get transformed into story.

How about you? Have you gotten too excited over a story idea that never made its way into a novel? Or, worse yet, have you ever started telling the story idea only to discover half-way through your new novel that it’s not working?

Here’s something to think about that Bob Mayer mentions in this blog:

“I was watching Biography on TV one time and they were covering Clint Eastwood. He would talk about one movie or another and say, “The thing I liked about this screenplay was . . .” And he would sum it up in a sentence or two. He didn’t go on and on saying, “boy I really liked the great scene on page 28, and the twist on page 43, and . . .” I find many writers get too caught up in the minutiae of their story and lose sight of the big picture. He bought the screenplay for Unforgiven based simply on this pitch: “It’s the anti-western.” For someone like Clint Eastwood, who’d made so many westerns, the idea of doing the antithesis was intriguing and drew him in.

What do you like about your proposed book? What will draw the reader in?”

Click here to read Bob Mayer’s full blog about idea versus story.


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About terriponce

I write about secrets, suspense, and soulmates.
This entry was posted in Stories Behind The Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Story Idea Is Not A Story

  1. Penn says:

    You’re not firing because you have abandoned David and his story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Valerie says:

    … as well as probably fused to your chair and keyboard. 😉


  3. I have this lovely idea for a story, but can’t figure out the writing! I can’t even decide on the point of view… Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kaye George says:

    Yes, I agree. My idea file is much bigger than my WIP folders combined.

    Liked by 1 person

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