Friday, December 2, 2022

What's the Point? Why the Purpose of Each Part of Your Writing Feels So Important to Your Reader

I've written a lot in these newsletters about the stages of writing a book--the gathering of ideas, the play that comes next as the writer explores structure and flow, the refinement and revision that follows. Some writers pay no attention to these. They mix the flow writing with the editing, and they have enough skill to produce a good book. They are he lucky ones. Most of us need to keep a map along for such an onerous journey as a book, and the stages help keep the traveler oriented to where they are in the process.

One of the big tasks that comes along, often unwelcome, is asking What's the point? Writers ask this question at all stages but often it's unanswerable until revision. That's because we may not know yet. We may be writing blind, or according to an incomplete view of our book, which is completely normal and alright. It keeps us from getting too full of ourselves in the early stages.

I've read some writing recently, both unpublished and published, that had me asking that question. For the unpublished writing, there's still time to figure out the point.