For the purposes of this post, stories are vases.
Not all vases are the same, though. One problem with soliciting advice for improving your story can be that the person you talk to wants a different vase altogether.
“I wrote a heartwarming human-interest story!” “It needs more action.”
“Here’s my heartwarming human-interest story with some action.” “There’s no world-building. This story needs world-building.”
“Here is my heartwarming human-interest story with detailed world-building and action.” “Ugh. Maybe you should cut something. Like that heartwarming human-interest.”
I have a hard time NOT following all the advice I get. So I end up with an invisible vase something like this:
“A point in every direction is the same as no point at all” — The Rock Man
Stories don’t have to be fair, or be all things to all people. They just need to be ONE THING. And ultimately, it’s YOUR story. Make it about what you want it to be about, bias and slant and all.
And any day now, I’ll follow that advice, too.by