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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Assignment for Writers!

Some of your have already started a fiction book project. Others are part way through, and even others have finished. No matter where you are in the process, answering the following questions will help you in either finishing your current project or starting another.

I’ll talk more in the following days about each question and how your answers will affect the outcome of your project.

A notation follows each question so you can know whether the question applies to fiction or nonfiction or both.

Have fun!

1. Are you a one-two-three kind of writer? Like all your ducks in a row? Or do you start a project here, and another there and kinda juggle them all in the air? Or do you do something in between? (fiction/nonfiction)

2. Do you edit as you go? Or do you write first, then edit later? Or are you like, Edit? What’s that? (fiction/nonfiction)

3. Do you like to make a detailed outline and then follow it? Or do you like to simply start writing and see where it goes? (fiction/nonfiction)

4. Do you think scene first? Or character first? Or story first? What is your usual progression in getting started? (fiction)

5. WHY do you want to write this book? What benefits will it give your readers? List at least three reasons if possible. (nonfiction)

6. Who are your readers? Don’t just say everybody. Who are your readers? Don’t just say everybody. Think about who will most likely want to read this book? What age are they? Do they attend school? Do they go to church? Do they hang out at Starbucks? The beach? Are they street people? Do they wear suits? Do they like to read in bed at night? Or sprawled over a favorite chair? Or in spurts while waiting in traffic. Or do they hardly ever read? Are they women or men? Young? Middle age? Old? Retired? Mothers? Fathers? (fiction/nonfiction)

7. What kind of books do your readers usually read? Or do they rather watch the tube? How long is their attention span? How long a chapter will they read in one sitting? (fiction/nonfiction)

8. Write one page about what your book is about. Then hone this down to one tight paragraph that will give readers a good idea of what your story is about. (fiction/nonfiction)

9. What is your title and subtitle? Is it catchy? Or is it corney? Will readers know what it’s about when they see the title? Will it jump out at them from the shelf? Or will it get lost among all those other books? (fiction/nonfiction)

10. What is the main take-a-way the reader will gain from your book? What is the main thing you want them to remember after they’ve put the book down for the final time? (fiction/nonfiction)

11. Why are YOU the person to write this book? (fiction/nonfiction)

12. What will your book look like? Go to the bookstore and imagine your book there. Where will it sit on the shelf? In what section? Will it be thick? Or thin? (fiction/nonfiction)

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