Does Your Book Have a Clearly Defined Destination and Focus?
Destination and focus are two measurements that you should pay attention to in your writing.
Destination is the target you’re directing your readers toward. It may, for example, be the book’s ending, which some authors, especially of fiction, like to write first. In fact, your ending may be useful in creating your focus.
The important point is to keep your readers on a clear pathway toward that destination. One useful tool is to create an outline or conceptual roadmap, and work on that until everything is clear and well organized. This can help avoid duplication or conflicts in information during your actual writing.
Whether you’re in the outline stage, the proposal stage, or have completed your first draft, it helps to step back and take a mental picture. Does it make a strong impression? Is your perspective or point-of-view unique, different, or interesting? Does your main point have continuity and consistency throughout the book, or do you sometimes stray off into less relevant side elements? Are your themes clear, or do they blend and blur into each other? Is there balance and composition, as in a good photograph or painting?
As with a camera, what can you do to bring everything into sharper focus and make your narrative even better? What could you eliminate or add that would create an even better picture?
In today’s “sound-bite” world, readers want books that are as short as feasible, that stay focused, that stick to the point, and that don’t wander off the path. These key points should serve you well if you’re hoping to have a successful book.
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