Writing a Book

I found a great quote for writers in Susan Wittig Albert’s book, Writing from Life.

Writing a book is like scrubbing an elephant:  there’s no good place to begin or end, and it’s hard to keep track of what you’ve already covered.–Anonymous

Ain’t that the truth?  I have read and re-read my novella making sure that I have covered everything and told the story clearly so a reader can follow it.  But I always struggle with tying up the story with a satisfying ending.  The best way of deciding if the ending is what a reader wants is to ask someone(s) to read the book and get an opinion.  I know your mom or Aunt Edith will always say they liked it, so you need to get a reader who is capable of actually telling you the shortcomings AND the good points about the story.  The reader will be able to tell you if the ending makes sense and if you completed the book satisfactorily.

I know it is difficult to let someone else read your writing.  I know it is hard to put your “baby” out in the world to be criticized, mocked, or–look at it this way–praised and lifted up as beautiful.  Just put on your armor and send out that writing.  Even if someone doesn’t like it, you have the opportunity to work on it and make it better.  There is no shame in having to re-work the story when your reader(s) make a salient point.

Try it.  Afterall, are you writing for your own enjoyment or are you writing to give others joy?

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