A Mad Vox

023 Discover the Shiny in Your Story - AMV NaNoWriMo18 Edition

Episode Summary

For Day 23 of NaNoWriMo, let's discover the shiny in your story!

Episode Notes

Discover the shiny in your story

This is the 23rd day of NaNoWriMo. I don't know about you, but I've noticed there are all sorts of new things on the horizon, ready to draw my attention and take up all my free time. In this next week, the number of those things will likely increase.

Which is why today I'm going to talk about really understanding what is shiny about your story.

Sometimes I feel like creative writers can gravitate toward ideas that are presented in a certain way:
There's a sense of newness. Yet a relatability that seems attainable. It's attractive, it's inspiring, and it's just within our grasp if we can just put in enough effort to reach it.

Inspiration comes from just about any giving source. The problem is when we let our inspiration overtake our sense of focus on one project and start gearing up to do another.
It makes it tough to focus on the task at hand. And the luster seems to fade a bit from the project at hand.

This is a classic example of 'grass is greener' syndrome.

Or the snowflakes are prettier?

Hmm... It doesn't really snow where I am, but I do know it's that time of year where everything is sparkly and novel, and if you're anything like someone we know you're can get distracted quite easily. And often.

But, what if we learn to find the shiny thing in our own work?
This will help us to stay focused long enough to finish and It will be a way to guarantee that you'll attract a readership. At least if you follow through on the activity part of this learning.


Can you identify the shiny part of your story? The part of the story that makes others go "Ooh, I want to read that!"

That's the thing that you can use to keep going and push through the distractions of everything else to complete your challenge.

This is an experiment to try.

  1. Talk to at least 3 people about your novel ideally, in your target readership. Give them a synopsis and let them ask you a couple of questions about your story.

  2. Note their reactions as you describe your character and the various things the character encounters in your story. Did you notice their eyes light up about any aspect of the character or any aspects of your story?

  3. Ask the person if the story sounds like something they'd be interested in reading? And ask them why.

Note: Before you talk to these people make sure to answer these questions for yourself first. This will give you a hypothesis and let you compare your answers with actual data.


Did you try the experiment? What did you learn about your story that others find shiny and how can you add in more of those shiny things? Let me know. Leave a comment on this episode's page-- episode 23-- at podcast.amadvox.com.

Or you can leave a note on Twitter. Tweet at @AMadVox or use the hashtag #amadvox

By rediscovering the sense of newness about your story through someone else's eyes, the idea is that you'll be drawn into a feedback loop that will inspire you to want to tell your story to the person who's excited to read it.

I hope all of that sparkle and shine will give you what you need to stay focused and committed to polishing that first draft that you'll have finished by the end of the month.

Thanks for listening! If you find this of value please consider rating and reviewing it in Apple podcasts (A.k.a. iTunes) and sharing it with a friend.

You can find A Mad Vox on

Apple Podcasts, Stitcher app, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and RadioPublic.