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Go for the Big Idea!
Continued from page 1

"I'm aiming for number 300 on the
Publisher's Weekly bestseller list."

A famous advertising man named Leo Burnett once said, "Reach for the stars, or you'll come up with a handful of mud." His philosophy led to successes like Charlie the Tuna, Tony the Tiger, and the Marlboro Man. Burnett's motto is worth following even if you'd rather write novels than design ads for canned fish, cornflakes, and cigarettes.

Look at it this way: It's no harder to write a Big Novel than a small novel. In fact, it may be easier, because the rules for writing a Big Novel are widely recognized and accepted:

  • Start with a Big Idea.
  • Write about Big Characters.
  • Keep the story moving with Big Events.
  • Build to a Big Climax.
  • Wrap up the story with a Big Ending that leaves the reader feeling completely satisfied.

Bottom line: If you want the Big Bucks, you've got to write a Big Book.

Even if you aren't consciously aiming for the bestseller list, a big story is easier to get published than a small, modest, self-effacing story--which is all the more reason to think big when you sit down to write your next novel.

- Durant Imboden

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