The Need to Know

"What we think we should know turns out to be the very thing we don't need to know." --Thomas Moore, The Soul's Religion So often, new writers won't start the piece they want to write because, as they say, they don't know how to write dialogue, or how to describe a certain thing, or the name of a certain character. We put far too much emphasis on knowing everything before we start, when the process itself will teach us. And the learning is such a different, varied landscape than what we imagined. One of my favorite writers is elbows-deep writing a novel in which one of the main characters has no name. Instead of letting that stop her, Shawna gave the character the marker of "Fun Girl," and went full speed ahead, realizing the story was far more important than this single detail. What knowledge are you holding out for? Find a way to move past the brain's demand to know everything at the outset.

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