Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Among other things, KISS is called the mantra for writers. It is supposed to make you think. Slow things down. Put invigorating, yet comprehensible storytelling in your manuscript.

For a long time, I never kept things simple. My writing has always been about the large and in charge: the next big thing that is going to change a genre. It was stupid of me to think like this.

All writers really want to do is have a kick-ass manuscript that agents can gobble up. However, it's not about complexity. It's not about how many words you can cram into the story.

It's about your protagonist. You've chosen your protagonist to be the guy or girl for you because you see something in them. They're interesting. They're fulfilling to you as a writer. They're witty or emotional. They carry a burden or are in the midst of creating one that will affect others. All of this surrounds the story, but if the plot cannot be made simple, it will become lost in the words.

My generous critique partners, who I trust indefinitely, have since pounded this mantra into my head. When I started a new project to get my head out of another giving me trouble, I went through two outlines, neither of which were simple.

It can be about the protagonist or it can be about the journey. It can be about growth or loss. But whatever you choose, make it the focus. Don't allow your strong protagonist to become lost in the journey. Don't let him or her both grow and lose equally. There must be a happy center point. Choose and make peace. If, at the end of your outline or planning process, that way doesn't work, you start again.

How do you KISS? 

Peace and Writing Love,


1 comment:

  1. Classic! The message and the form were powerful, this was a great post.
    I stick with the characters - make them kiss-ass perfect ;) :D


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