Wednesday, July 10, 2013

#WWW How Small Is Too Small? by Donna L. Martin #WriteTip

I am so pleased to have the host of Writerly Wisdom with me today! Writer of picture, chapter & YA books, Donna L. Martin is a selfless woman, bent on helping other authors on their scribbler's sojourn. If you're interested in browsing through her WW, head over HERE for a complete listing of guest posts!


Thank you, Terri, for this fabulous opportunity to connect with you and your wonderful readers.  I hope this post inspires newbie and established writers alike to embrace the boulders in THEIR lives!

 How Small Is Too Small?

What do War & Peace and Harry Potter have in common?  

Words.  Lots of them. Thousands in fact.  In both cases the end result are epic novels containing a plethora of words to convey the author's dream story.  Each word artfully placed to draw the reader into another place and time until the author finally releases them with a satisfactory conclusion.

But do you really think those stories started out that way?


First drafts are called that for a reason.  It is the first time the dream becomes a reality.  It gives the writer a chance to hold nothing back.  To let creativity flow onto paper or screen until there are huge boulders of story line lying around. Writers, especially beginner writers, should not attempt to polish that first draft at the same time they are writing it.  The chipping away and culling of unnecessary words will come later.  First drafts are simply a time for unleashing your imagination and watching where it takes you.


Next come the revisions and rewrites.  A writer begins to chip away and polish that first draft into something more concrete.  Shaping and rearranging those words until a sharper version of a writer's dream comes into focus.  They smooth the edges of the story line and invite others to help in the process.  Trusted friends and experienced critique partners all join in the dance. This is done with the knowledge it will take time to uncover the final publishable product.


Writers don't have the luxury of dealing with boulders for long.  The constraints of writing for an audience demand a writer create great works of art with the best words possible.  These pebbles of creation must carry dreams onto paper in such a way as to leave a mark on the reader's minds long after the story is finished. This takes time.  Often time we don't really have.  And yet we continue to drive ourselves to chip away, always polishing our work until one day we suddenly stop.  We realize that to polish it any more would make the story so small it might not survive on its own.  It's a delicate balance to determine how small is too small.

Finally there comes that moment when all our wishes, hopes, and dreams are carved onto those rocks.   We kiss them goodbye and send them out into the world for others to enjoy.  We think about the wonderful things that might be built with our pebbles of creation.  How the lives of our readers might be changed for a moment or even a lifetime for having read our words.  And sometimes we are pleasantly surprised with what others do with our polished rocks.

What great boulders will you craft into polished pebbles today?


About Ms. Martin

I've been writing since I was eight years old but only decided in 2010 to start writing professionally.

I write children's picture books, chapter books, and young adult novels as well as essays, poetry and anything else that interests me.  I am the host of the WRITERLY WISDOM series where every Wednesday authors, illustrators, agents and established writers give tips on the writing process.  I am also the host of my international FREE AUTHORS PROMOTION event held every May during my city's Children's Festival of Reading. My story, “Shortcut To Peace”, was published in Chicken Soup For The Soul: Angels Among Us in January 2013.




  1. I just wish I started out with a bigger rock!

    1. Hi Alex! Lol...I know what you mean. Sometimes I start with a pebble and before I know it all I have is a grain of sand and I have to start over...;~)

      Thanks for checking out my post!

    2. Hi Alex! Lol...I know what you mean! Sometimes I start with a pebble and end up with a grain of sand...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by!