Welcome to my series on Pixar’s now-famous 22 Rules of Storytelling. I don’t religiously follow all of these like they’re story commandments, but I do happen to agree with many of them. I thought it might be fun to examine why and explain what each means to me. You can start at the beginning here.
No one likes to talk about deadlines, especially self-employed indie authors who are their own bosses. But writing is a business, at least if you plan on making money. You can’t work on your great American novel for fifteen years making it perfect.
Perfection is a funny thing. Authors grow and change their opinions all the time. It’s likely that you might read your own work from two years before and not like it. For me, this means stories have a shelf life in your head. Don’t rush it out, by any means. Give it the proper attention and polish. But if you hold on to a story too long, try to over-edit everything about several times past ridiculous, then you may find yourself not liking your story much at all anyway. Just because too much time passed.
Strike while the iron’s hot. While you’re excited. Being a writer is about exercising all sorts of different idea muscles. Work out, then move on.