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Maxwell A. Drake
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MAD’s third rule of writing – Write with Confidence (Part II)

So write every day with the confidence that you can get published if you just learn the craft well enough. Great. But that is not all the confidence that you need.


The second utilization of this word is writing with the confidence that people will like what you are writing.


You must believe in your story. If you do not, no one else will.


Mull the story over in your mind. Draw it out in diagram form on a dry erase board. Talk it through with anyone who will listen. Daydream about your characters. Think of them outside of your story. What were they like before your story takes place? What will they be like after your story has concluded? Anything to keep your story top of mind. If it entertains you, chances are it will entertain others. Flesh out the plot line. Stay fluid. Just because you thought the story would go one way, if you figure out a better way, try it out.


The one thing I think people who attempt to make the switch from writing for the enjoyment of it to writing for profit is they forget the purest fundamental of what they are doing. You are telling a story to entertain someone else. Nothing more. A sci-fi/fantasy  author is a juggler, comedian, actor, musician, monkey with a silly hat… Simply put, people are going to use your work to escape reality for a while. Yes, you have to write well. Yes, you have to follow the rules of the craft. No, not one single reader will ever care that you did – nor should they.


One of the decisions I made early on with my writing of the Genesis of Oblivion Saga was to never use a speech tag. No he said, no she thought, no she whispered and no he blurted out. Not one single speech tag. It was probable the single-most hardest rule for me to follow while writing the novel – and it was self imposed!


I did it for the reason that I thought it would make the dialog more dynamic. I was forced to have each character DO something while they spoke so that the reader would not loose track of who was speaking when. And it worked. People compliment me on how real my dialog feels. Ever single time they do I ask, “So, you like that I used no speech tags?” And every single time they say, “What?” Then I tell them that there are none and what a speech tag is and they say, “Really? Not one? Hmm, I didn’t notice. But I really like your dialog scenes.”


I still write with no speech tags. Now I am simply use to it. When I use them here on the blog, like above, it feels odd to me. But now I know that no one cares. They just like the entertainment value of my story telling.


I hear people complain about the Twilight Series and the Harry Potter Series all the time. How they are poorly written, etc. Well, fans don’t care. They are in it for the story and both of those series are very enjoyable stories. And in the end, that is what will sell your books. Not how well you write them or some stupid gimmick you try like never using any speech tags.


So, spend some quality time with your story. Make sure that it moves you. Run it past a few close friends or relative and see if it moves them. When you have that, when you have a story that really excites people, then you are ready to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as the case may be.)



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Book Three of the Genesis of Oblivion Saga is scheduled for release late April or May of 2012. It is now on Pre-Order at http://www.shop.imaginedinterprises.com

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