Sunday, September 14, 2008

Boldness Has Power and Magic in It

All too often inexperienced writers tiptoe through their novels, letting major events -- fistfights, gunplay, murders, betrayals -- take place off-page. It's much easier to let characters emote afterward than for the writer to take the time and trouble to tackle the action scene. I know I have passed on opportunities to create such scenes, thinking the characters' reactions all-important, but I forgot one thing: readers need to experience the drama.

Sometimes it's hard to find the confidence to bring such complex scenes to life, to juggle the many elements that comprise an action scene, but the only way to learn is to plunge headfirst into action. Write it fast and fearlessly; let the words fall where they may. You can always clean up the mess in rewrites, so there is no reason to hold back.

By jumping into situations that test your characters and your writing ability, you can give your stories drama that stands apart from the common. Writing is an adventure and we need to boldly go where our story takes us.

Goethe wrote, “What you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

I’ve dreamed my new novel. Now it’s time for me to begin writing it. Perhaps this bold step will bring, if not genius and power, then magic.

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