Another one I get a lot is, “Is the concept the most important part of writing a story? Or the theme? Or the characters? Or the overall execution of the script?” Heck, they’ll even ask if maybe the art is the most important part of the writing.
For newer writers there are definitely rules you should not break. You can make structural or script execution mistakes that are as wrong as misspelling a word. On the nose dialogue for example, always lowers the quality of a script.
Now, the more experience you gain as a writer, the more you come to realize, you can play with and bend the rules. The key is really intent and awareness… But I digress. The point of the article is that most of the time, for the working writer, it’s not about writing in a correct in incorrect manner…
It’s about making your writing as effective as possible.
I say this all the time and most of the time students just kinda get a glazed over look in their eyes. In one ear and out the other. Here’s a good analogy for it;
When you create a character for an RPG, you roll up character stats.
Strength, Intelligence, Dexterity, Constitution, Charisma, etc…
If you roll up a character with a 9 strength and your friend rolls a character with an 18 strength, this doesn’t mean your friend is gonna win the game and you’re gonna lose. It means your friend is going to be more effective in tasks of strength than you.
While your friend could get killed and eaten by an Owlbear in the first 15 minutes of gameplay, leaving you to find the magic ring, save the princess, and win the game, in reality, more effective, means better odds at success.
If you were going to enter a RPG competition, that would involve a lot of combat battles, you’d probably prefer to enter the tournament with the 18 strength character rather than the 9 strength character–why? Because the 18 score guy is simply twice as effective as the 9 character.
This is the same way writing works.
When you create your story, consciously or unconsciously, you’re assigning stats to your story;
Concept, Theme, Character Arcs, Dialogue, etc. etc.
The lower your combined stats score, the less effective your story, and in turn, the more difficult it will be to gain a fan base and be successful…
Hopefully this analogy illustrates the importance of trying to maximize the effectiveness of each individual aspect of your story. Yes, you could have one STORY STAT that dominates and carries all the others. But just like having a warrior RPG character that has 18 strength and 3’s for everything else, that’s no easy road. The easy road is 18’s across the board. ▪
About the Author —
Nick Macari is a full-time freelance story consultant, developmental editor and writer, working primarily in the independent gaming and comic markets. His first published comic appeared on shelves via Diamond in the late 90’s. Today you can find his comic work on comixology, amazon and in select stores around the U.S. Visit NickMacari.com for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.