How Do You Wrangle An Epic Tale Onto Paper?

post by Michelle Griep


“My story ideas always seem so different (better) in my mind. How do you get a story from your head to paper without having it freak out and become something totally different?”


You don’t.


Don’t panic because of the short answer. I hate to be the pin holder bursting your authorly balloon into flying shreds of latex, but honestly, there’s no way you’ll ever capture the Cinemagraphic story in your head so that readers see exactly what you do . . . but that is the inherent beauty of every story. Just because it changes and comes out differently doesn’t mean that it’s bad.

But sometimes it is. Recently I read a Facebook status from one of my favorite authors, Travis Thrasher. He said:

“Hello, Solitary Tales fans. I wanted to let you know about this particular title that I had planned on releasing before the end of the year. Well, that plan changed, not because of busyness but because the story went places that I didn’t want it to go. Actually, Chris Buckley (that’s his main character) said that it was unbelievable. He told me he’d never do that stuff. He said that readers would be confused if I went in this direction. So yeah . . . I stopped writing and am now figuring out how to tell this story.”

Writers at every stage of the game continually wrestle with the beast of wrangling a story into words. At times it can be downright discouraging.

All that being said, though, I’m still of the belief that change is good, and here’s why . . . even if you wrote exactly the story you wanted to tell, every reader who picks that book up will experience it in a different way than you intended. Why? Because readers come to the table with different baggage, a plethora of backgrounds, and assumptions galore.

Writing is art, and art is like that. For all we know, daVinci had a blonde-haired, blue-eyed vixen with a toothy grin in mind when he painted the Mona Lisa, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a beloved masterpiece.

Go forth fearlessly, little writers, and pen your masterpieces. Embrace change. And it never hurts to eat much chocolate along the way.

Like what you read? There’s more. WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.