Raising Your Story: Writing Parenthood
Crafting a great story, for any medium, is a frightening, exhilarating, exhaustive supremely rewarding endeavor.
It’s not easy and, to be completely blunt, if you arrive at a final story and don’t have any scratches, bruises or bumps to accompany your overwhelming pride and sense of accomplishment, well…you probably don’t have a very good story.
What’s it like? How can anyone understand it? If you’re a parent or ever raised a child from birth, then you should understand.
The conception is wonderful. You and others collaborate, going back on forth in a creative tryst that results in a delightful time of unfettered creativity. No ideas should be considered bad. Everything should go on the wall, whether it sticks or not.
But much like with children, what comes next is less fun.
Only a willingness to commit to a strong direction and ferociously expunge and defend any concepts that would dilute this focus can take the story to its next level of maturation.
What comes next is discipline.
Because much like with adolescents, even stories have to find a singular identity, a sharp focus that allows for the quick communication of the entity’s essence and brilliance. Only a willingness to commit to a strong direction and ferociously expunge and defend any concepts that would dilute this focus can take the story to its next level of maturation.
For parents that means groundings and no new iPhone apps for a month. For storytellers it means killing witt babies and saying goodbye to most of the rainbow of thoughts on the whiteboard.
As your story nears adulthood, it should be developing an instantly recognizable personality.
Some minor grooming may still be needed. The hipster beard that looked so great at age 17, or the confetti firework completion Easter egg that felt great before user testing began, may have to go the way of the dodo bird.
But ultimately, now is where you give the story one final hard edit. Does the story flow easily or does it feel like it’s arguing with itself? Are all the elements working in harmony or are they disjointed in any way?
If both the answers are the former, then your story is ready for showtime.
And your shaved hipster is all grown up and ready for college.