Last Word

Unlock the secret to stories that transform the reader

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I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody’s head.

–John Updike

(Flickr: epSos.de)

(Flickr: epSos.de)

What does Updike mean by unlocking the traffic jam?

Clearly there are many things that stall our brains these days — the 24-hour news cycle, smartphones, tablets and cable television with hundreds of channels.

And that’s just a short list of the modern gadgets that command our attention.

Family and work obligations can also contribute to the crazed haze of daily living.

The question is — how do we help our readers feel free to step into a new world and leave their cluttered lives behind?

Beyond that — how do we help our readers let go of stubbornly-held feelings and opinions and embrace some new world of ideas?

Does your story allow the reader to see the world from a transformed perspective?

One way to answer this it to think on books that you have read that have made an indelible mark on your soul. Perhaps it was a story read to you as a child, or maybe it was a novella that first sparked your imagination.

What hooked you? The setting? The plot? Did you feel deeply connected to the characters?

Make a list of the stories that unraveled the mess, stress or preconceived notions in your brain.

Then, ask yourself if the writing you are doing today would unlock a reader’s own traffic jam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff

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