why you should be mercilessly hacking apart your own stories

Why You Should Be Mercilessly Hacking Apart Your Favorite Stories

Today, I’m guest posting over on Storyfix, with the post “Why You Should Be Mercilessly Hacking Apart Your Favorite Stories.” Here’s an excerpt:

You shouldn’t be reading this blog.

No, seriously. As awesome as Larry’s blog is and as generous as he is for sharing his story sense with all of us, this is not the place to learn how to write a story.

(This is the part where Larry kicks me off his site and vows to never invite me on the premises again.)

But, actually, I’m not just picking on Larry. You shouldn’t be reading my blog either or the how-to books of any of your favorite authors. Not if they’re preventing you from paying attention to what’s really going to teach you how to write.

And where, you ask, do you find this magic font of all storytelling wisdom?

That’s easy. In stories.

Keep reading!

why you should be mercilessly hacking apart your own stories

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. (sigh)

    I would, but I hate reading fiction. It seems so unpolished these days, almost as though the idea might run away at the first moment someone puts a pen to paper.

    I’d love to find a fiction book to read, but I am still on the eternal quest, I guess. Maybe one day I’ll make it past the first page.

    Thanks for sharing this, and Larry’s website is always interesting. I’m sure it will be filled with some good feedback.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      You know what Stephen King says: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

      But I know what you mean. Still, there are jillions of absolutely brilliant books out there. It’s just a matter of finding them.

      • Yeah, I wish I could say that. I always make the time to read other things, but when it comes to fiction, it’s as though I’m walking barefoot through broken glass.

        Then again, I usually stop after a page since most books don’t capture my interest. Heck, I’d say about 90% of all fiction I’ve touched in the last two years haven’t lasted past the first sentence.

        Ah well, this is clearly a me issue. So much for the lifelong best selling dreams of Space Hamsters in Space…

        • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

          If you haven’t already, give some older books a try. I’ve made it a goal to read one classic (pre-1960s) for every contemporary book I read. Some of them have been tough going, but I feel it’s been so rewarding and growth-inducing all in all.

          • Matthew Eaton says

            Oh, I used to read a lot of the classic lit as well as the cheesy 1980’s / 1990’s novels.

            It’s that whole “If you want to eat sausage, don’t watch how it’s made” scenario. After spending two years learning how to what story good, I get all twitchy at the smallest things.

            Heck, I can easily predict how the majority of the story will break down just off the first few paragraphs in most cases.

            The magic is gone, but thank you so much for the suggestion. You are always awesome, trying to assist the helpless like this.

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