Right and Wrong and Tolerance and Best

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/857772 by Jose Bernalte http://www.mrkstudios.com/Unprecedented tolerance. Personal freedoms. No idea left behind. DIY.

Everybody’s opinion is equal, and opinions are more important than facts.

I have seen people who can’t spell or punctuate properly, in the comments on Amazon, dismiss the writings of brilliant minds like Daniel Kahneman simply because they haven’t bothered to find out who he is and they happen to disagree with him.

It is popular to pretend that all ideas are equal. All roads lead to Rome. Every method has merits, and everyone should find their own path.

Tolerance is great. But there is still, often enough, a “best way” to accomplish something.

I’m a huge advocate of self-publishing. Clearly, traditional publishing is still a goal for some authors, and works well enough for those already on the inside. But the level of effort (and blind chance and infinitesimal control over the process) make it preposterous. Self-publishing can produce a better quality book without waiting to be picked or giving up control of your art or finances.

“Best” doesn’t mean “only” so traditional publishing escapes the axe. For now.

There are two kinds of writers: plotters and pantsers. Plotters, to some extend, know in advance where their story is going. Pantsers write by the seat of their pants. Start writing, and let the story find its own way. As I wrote on my publishing blog, that’s like heading off to the store without having a clue where the store is, and driving around until someday you stumble across it.

Is a detailed outline necessary? Not at all.

Is pantsing without a clue where the story is going wasting lots of time, making writing even harder than it already is? Absolutely. It is not a Muse-killer to write down the 9 plot points which make a story. Pants all you want between them, but know these waypoints or you’re just driving, not actually going somewhere.

Is planning the only way to write a novel? Well, if we consider that one could haul hay with a bicycle or walk across the Bering Sea to get from Alaska to Russia, pantsing is certainly possible. People do it all the time.

Is a modicum of planning a far superior method, saving time and mental energy without sacrificing creativity.

It sure is. It is better. That’s not intolerance, it’s research, experience, and good judgment.

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