Imagine a shorthand that works for complex storytelling as well as true shorthand works for speeding up general writing. A writer's shorthand does exist, with the use of placeholding “things-yet-to-be-written” in brackets.

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Your book's structure is the tool that will gather up your readers and keep them following along with you; it's the tie that binds all the parts of your story together, from end to end, and in the middle too.

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Most authors probably wish they had a gauge of some kind to stick into the pages to tell them when their book is done. It’s not just new, inexperienced writers who have that wish. Most published authors I’ve posed the question to say the same thing: it’s hard to know when to put down the virtual pen.

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Your first draft might be a brain dump, so it's on you to rid subsequent drafts of holes, sleeping pills and imposters. What's your Achilles' heel: tangential, rambling, or missing content?

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Write with purpose in mind. Edit with purpose in mind. Polish with purpose in mind. Use it as your criterion for chopping (or lack of it) and gauge your satisfaction against it. When 100% of your words are charged with meaning, your book is done.

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You can write a love story outside the romance genre. Romance is a staple of all types of literature. So when is it a "romance" and when is it just a book with a love story? Usually, it’s obvious.

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In almost every story, there is a pill that makes something exciting happen. Whether it brings love, stardom, happiness, or calamity in your book is up to you.

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