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Published on Jul 7, 2010
What does it take to get started as an author? Science fiction author David Brin (The Postman, Startide Rising) offers advice to aspiring writers. Storytelling is the only verified form of magic; the ability to form incantations in the listerner's mind, to have them envision imaginary worlds, to feel profound emotions.
Brin tells you the key aspect of the relationship between a writer and the readers -- a sadomasochistic one! You want your readers to be so engaged with the text that they are unable to put the book down...even at the risk of being late for work or missing a class.
The only way to gauge your progress is to seek criticism from readers. This is hard to do, but you must distribute your manuscript widely (beyond friends and family members) to see where people were bored or confused; to find where they found your characters' actions inconsistent or implausible. Getting feedback is the surest way to improve your work.