By Daniel Middleton


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WHILE THERE ARE droves of “how-to” books currently on the market that focus on writing well and liberally dispense varied instructions—among them the use of proper word choices, avoiding wordiness, employing active verbs and active voice, and other writerly rules and elements of writing style—this book will focus on something those books do not offer: how to tap into the writer in all of us and unearth the interesting stories and characters that are buried deep within. How you can approach this from a technical standpoint—an area that concerns the mechanics of written language, which necessitates a knowledge of proper grammar, usage, sentence structure, and the principles of composition, phrasing, punctuation, etc.—involves lessons that can be learned elsewhere. What this book will attempt to do is teach you how to draw from the deep well of experience that is at the core of every human being and couple it with imagination to effectively tell a memorable tale, regardless of the genre you choose to write in.

If you are a member of the human race who draws breath on a daily basis and can confirm that you have lived a life on any level and have associated with any number of fellow human beings in whatever manner during the course of that life, then you are capable of telling a story, and a compelling one at that, based on, fueled by, or inspired by those experiences.

Throughout my career as a professional book editor, I have come to understand and recognize the nuances of quality fiction and have pinpointed the necessary ingredients a writer needs in order to attain a lofty level of storytelling. You see, one of the main problems many fiction writers face today is a lack of skill when it comes to conveying their thoughts with power and conviction. Many times I have read scenes that fall flat for a variety of reasons, be it weak character sketching, the inability to effectively describe scenery or action, and, not least, poor delivery of dialogue, among many other classic examples. In order to allow your readers to come away satisfied after reading your book, or compel them to reread passages for the sheer power and beauty contained within them, you have to tap into your hidden depths of experience. You must draw power from within, by envisioning a scene so clearly that you begin to act very much like a reporter who is trying to jot down as much of what he or she is witnessing as possible, and as accurately as he or she can.

That is exactly what I will teach you to do!

The seven Points contained in this book were designed speci-fically for that very purpose, and you will find that, taken together, they form a solid foundation upon which you can begin to hone your craft and greatly improve your storytelling abilities. You can think of the seven Points as a fine-grained whetstone that, if adhered to, will give your writing a keen edge.

After you have completed the seven Points and have absorbed the various lessons within them, you can begin implementing the new methods in your writing, which, for one thing, will enable you to place yourself directly at the center of each scene in your story, where you essentially belong if you intend to successfully translate your vision to the page with forceful expression and to the delight of your readers.

At the end of each Point you will find a worksheet that ties in directly to the particular Point that precedes it. By filling out these worksheets, you will be given in-depth information about your characters and enough fodder for as many interesting situations as you wish to place them in. Your characters will begin to have real purpose as they navigate the winding route of your plot, and the story itself will be rich with details that readers can readily absorb. 

Daniel Middleton