A Book on Writing None of your friends have told you about

The wisdom in Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath refocuses your writing to what people really care about.

The idea for a novel strikes at the most unusual times and the flood of emotion seems so powerful we often can write — a task about as pleasant as feeding all the migrating colonies of baboons in Africa barefooted.

Then to double the pain is the creeping dread: it’s not working, there is no emotion. How could an idea that swept us off our feet while grocery shopping get no more than a shrug from a reader? Aren’t we both human and would love the idea just the same?

There is an immense amount of power in knowing what captures interest. And that’s where this book comes in. Without the use of repetition or salesy language (Cliche is the analog in fiction writing) writers can connect to an audience and make it stick.

One of the best lessons in this book is the use of concrete language. Instead of using graphs, academic garble, or dull metaphors, Chip Heath and Dan Heath inspire vivid imagery. This is explained with examples ranging from Urban Legends to Nordstrom Sales Associate’s daily work. It works, the idea works, and with it your book will work. This is by no means the end of the advice. Advice I’m not going to hide from you either, as you will read below, I intend on sharing knowledge from this book with a spin.

The advice on concreteness was so convincing, I changed my blog from six seas to seven seas to include concreteness. (And the observant reader may have noticed I shamefully went down from seven to six two months ago)

Recommending this book is a relief. I’ve been wanting to talk about ideas in this book, almost verbatim, for three weeks now. Now that I have the book recommended, link and all, I am going to give away the best parts for free. There is plenty I learned from this book I want to discuss, and since I’m interested in narrative fiction I will provide that perspective. Whenever I blog about something I learned from this book, I’ll link back to this post. I’m very proud to recommend this book because of its combined rarity and quality.

That is all.

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