Imagine you climb into a taxi and the driver says, “I don’t know. It’s over there somewhere.”
Now, imagine you climb into a second cab and the driver says, “Yeah, I know exactly where it is. We go up three streets, make a right, and it’s two miles on the left.”
You’d feel a lot better getting in the second car, right?
That’s a lot like writing.
Imagine those taxi drivers are authors. The first driver/writer will meander, appear lost, look for the next turn or destination, and you’re not sure your trip is ever going to pay off or bring you to a good destination.
But your feel like the second driver is in control. He may go a way you don’t know or expect, but you’re always confident you’ll reach your destination.
Uncertain writing has the same effect. But with the first writer, you don’t climb out of the car, you abandon the book. You stick with the second writer until the end.
How to Avoid Uncertain Writing
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As Jonathan Swift’s life drew to a close and dementia set in, he would crawl into bed, read his favorite book and say, “My God, I was brilliant once.”
Which book was that?
If you said Gulliver’s Travels, that’s understandable.
If you said A Modest Proposal, I wouldn’t blame you.
But nope, it was his first book…
Need a little motivation to write during this forced down time? Read on.
Does this sound like you? “I’m stuck at home for two weeks! I’ll get my novel done in no time!”
Then, in true procrastinating form, you discover that Netflix is calling, cat videos are amusing, and the news is overwhelming,
Or, from a practical standpoint…
Should your book’s dedication be personal, professional, or commercial?
New authors often think dedicating a book is easy, and for that first book it usually is. You dedicate it to “My loving wife” or “My devoted husband.” After all, you want to keep peace in the house. No reason to start a fight over a few poorly chosen words, right?
Of course, you might also dedicate your book to your children, particularly if it’s a children’s book, or a dear parent or grandparent. Perhaps a mentor, teacher, professor. Perhaps a fellow author, or your editor. Maybe your inspiration for the book. Maybe even a celebrity.
Suddenly, your list of possibilities gets very long, particularly if you’re working on a series, or this is your tenth book and you’ve run out of spouses, children, and close family members who should get that big thank you.
So, how you decide who gets your cherished book dedication?
Would you like to keep your story from getting bogged down?
Famed linguist and literary critic Kenneth Burke once wrote that “Action equals motivation plus momentum.”
It’s as simple and accurate quote about plotting a story as you’ll ever see. And the good news is that it doesn’t just apply to action stories and thrillers, but all fiction writing, no matter what the genre.
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Write what you know is good advice, if you do it correctly. We’ve all heard it a thousand times: “Write what you know, write what you know…” It’s practically a … Continue reading