Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Depth and Breadth

Working in the business side of healthcare I’ve learned that the depth and breadth of your services is important to your patients (or potential patients). In looking at business development I have to see what services we have and how we can change, mold, and expand on them to realize our full potential as an organization.

This concept can be applied to your manuscript as well. ‘Cause let’s face it, all we have right now is a manuscript. It’s in the development stage and is not a novel quite yet. So how can we get that depth and breadth to our manuscript, thereby completing it to its full potential?

Here are some factors I’m looking at myself with my work. See if it helps you.

First and foremost – as with business – who is your customer, end user, or client? That is, who is the reader that you want or need to interest? Know your audience and what they want. You may be a great writer but if no ones interested in your work…well, you’ll never be a published author.

After you find that out, you need to compare it to your manuscript, outline, work in progress.

Focus and evolve your idea/purpose to match industry, genre, and audience trends. Don’t write a novel for the purpose of showcasing the potential of time travel when your readers are primarily into new life forms on other planets. Don’t write a story that pits adversaries fighting for oil on other planets 400 years in the future when human evolution is trending towards green alternatives. It won’t stand the test of time (not to mention it’s flashback to 1980).

Now that you have your audience and idea aligned, it’s time to write your story. But wait, now you have to worry about how you’re writing out your idea. Pesky little details like narrative voice, word choice, and transitions. Is the voice and word choice matching the tone and mood of your story? Are you writing more formal than the brash heroine calls for? Are the transitions between scenes too choppy for your romantic space opera?

When all these details are developed and integrated into your end product (your novel), you then have to go back through and check the mechanics. You have to put on your editor hat and make sure you grammar and structure are up to snuff.

Only when these things are cleaned out can you put your product out there to potential agents and publishers. At least you know that if you check through all these things you’ll have the highest potential pumped into your story.

Good writing all!

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