4 Reasons Why Your Book Is Not Your Baby

guardianpostWe’ve all heard this phrase. And I’m sure I’ve used it on this blog. It centers around the idea that you work hard to gestate the concept, cultivate it’s growth, and then set it free out into the world to see how it gets on with others.

While it’s a common metaphor, it’s not realistic for achieving your BEST manuscript and here’s why:

1. You need to be willing to throw your characters off a cliff.

Get them in hot water. Have them make bad decisions. (I don’t recommend this for your baby.) If you’re too close to your characters how is their drama going to be enticing enough for readers? We teach children to participate in conflict resolution, but make sure your fiction explores all angles of inner and interpersonal drama.

2. Writing is not unconditional love. 

You have to cut sections that don’t work and expand the ones that do. You have to release your subjectivity and be critical to a fault, constantly questioning and pushing the envelope. Sometimes you have to cut the passages and stop working on projects you really care about stylistically.

3. You have to let it go earlier than you’ll ever be ready. (Okay, this one might be similar to parenthood.) Continue reading 4 Reasons Why Your Book Is Not Your Baby

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Let Dialogue Speak For Itself

Dialogue, in its most natural state, has the ability to move the plot and show character traits, as well as its most basic function: communication. When I read submissions this often marks the difference between a writer that ‘gets it’ and a writer that has a long way to go.

Dialogue must speak for itself. If you have to set up the dialogue before or explain it after you haven’t written good enough dialogue: Continue reading Let Dialogue Speak For Itself