Tuesday, May 04, 2010

So far, so good

I wrote another chapter today, making four chapters so far. I'm going to update here when I do, just so I can keep myself honest.

I'm not going in any particular order -- I don't know at this point what order the chapters will be in. I doubt it's going to a sequential-type thing. More like trying to balance variety with rhythm. So right now I'm just tackling whatever topic I feel like writing about at the time.

Here's what I have so far:
  • The Power of Emotion. Using an anecdote from an old client engagement I talk about how an emotional appeal can be more persuasive than simple facts, even with a hostile audience like a bunch of UAW toughs yelling at their CEO.
  • Throw Out Your Baby. Starting with a story from M. Night Shayamalyan, I talk about the importance of letting go of things -- words, phrases, passages -- that you love too much, which can interfere with your ability to be objective.
  • Find Your Own Process. With the awkward five-step process and structure that my 7th-grade English teacher taught us, I'd always end up going straight to final draft then creating a bunch of fake outlines and rough drafts to turn in after the fact. People have to start somewhere, but eventually if you find a way that works for you, it's the results that count, not the process.
  • Pet Peeves. This is one I'll probably keep adding to as I'm reminded of things that bug me. I already had a decent-sized list to start with. Things like the pointlessness of saying, "I'd like to" before thanking or introducing someone. And how people should just stop using the word "comprise" since so few people know how to use it correctly.
More to come ...

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