Once in a while, that might be true--some stories do practically write themselves in a blaze of white-hot inspiration. But most writers I know don't have that experience every time, only once a career, or sadly, on and off as they get in the grips of a bipolar mania.
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When I was younger and as naive as they come, writing came very easily. And those easy-to-write stories were pretty terrible, cliche filled, amateurish homages to other books and films. More than anything, my easy stories didn't require me to stretch or grow. I wrote what I knew, and at 12 and 13, I didn't know much.
Having the expectations that the only good ideas are the easy ideas goes against everything we know about creativity and invention. The good ideas are ones like the light bulb, that went through over a hundred prototypes until Edison got one that actually worked well. If every inventor who ever hit a hitch immediately dropped the idea because hard = wrong, we wouldn't have cars or computers or yes, even light bulbs.
There are a number of reasons a story might not be easy to tell that don't make it "the wrong one." The best ideas take more than a momentary zap of inspiration. They take time and energy, prototypes that fail, revision, more prototypes, outside input, encouragement, yet more prototypes, testing, more revision, until the brilliant final product emerges.
Expecting ease means bypassing craft, because craft always involves a learning curve. Learning curves are not easy. They kind of suck. They make you feel like everything you do is wrong, until one day you're over the curve. And then you realize that the hardness and the suckiness were just what you needed. The slog made you stronger and wiser. Your ideas got better because you didn't settle for easy.
Here are some signs you might indeed be telling the wrong story:
~You heard this genre was hot, even though you never read it
~You're following the usual tropes of a genre for lack of better ideas
~You're trying to write a genre because you think it will make you look smart, cool, or sexy
~You love reading a sci fi/fantasy/historical but don't enjoy world building
~Your characters seem to rebel against every plot decision
~You've had absolutely no moments of fun and enthusiasm while writing
Here are some reasons that the right story might be hard to write
~You have to dig deep emotionally, and it's scary
~You'll have to take a side on a divisive issue, and fear you'll offend people or lose friends
~You fear being judged for your genre choice
~This story is unlike anything you've ever written and you fear you'll lose fans.
~The amount of research needed will take years or involve expensive
~You'll need to talk to experts to get accurate information, and you're super shy.
~Your research will require talking to victims and you worry about the emotional toll on them and on you.
~Writing multiple points of view is something you've never done before.
~You're scared people will think this story is too weird.
~You worry that your take on a hot-button issue will thrust you into the limelight, and that kind of attention is way too scary.
And finally, here are some signs that your "wrong" story is salvageable, and possible remedies
I was having fun for a while, but can't seem to fix plot holes
~Set aside the manuscript for a few weeks or months
~Get beta readers to help you
~Research more aspects of the plot or setting to get better ideas
A secondary character keeps stealing the spotlight
~Reassign the role of protagonist
~Shift the narration style ala The Great Gatsby, so your former protagonist is a narrator
~Write in alternating points of view so both character 1 and 2 can speak
My story feels too much like an homage to my favorite author
~Try a change of milieu, setting it in a radically different time or place. (For more, see THIS post).
~Try reassigning roles in your cast, so the kinds of people who are your mentor author's villains are your heroes.
~Experiment with point of view. If your mentor author writes first person for example, try third
~Experiment with timeline narration. If your mentor author writes linear stories, try multiple time streams, unfolding the story from the past to the future and from the future to the past, meeting at a crisis moment.
~Mix elements of other genres into your story, such as literary, mystery, romance, or comedy
I'm bored with this story
~Research aspects of plot or setting to get more exciting ideas
~Assess who in the cast is dragging down the story's movement and give them a makeover, or the boot
~Ask beta readers to pinpoint where in the story their interest lags, and cut or revamp those scenes
~Revise for pacing, removing as much stage business as possible and tightening up the dialogue. (See Janice Hardy's pacing posts for more ideas)
~Look for opportunities to raise the stakes or add complications
What do you think friends? Do you believe the mythos of easy = right, hard = wrong? Why or why not?