Premise

There are so many books that I loved reading or gained a lot of insight from but can't remember anything about them except for the overall premise of the book. The dialogue and specifics are all a new conversation to me on the second read. Ironically enough the same is true for a book I bought and read many years ago called The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri.
 
 
I remembered how profound the book was to me as a writer, or better yet, a dramatist, and I had forgotten everything--specifically the importance of having a premise before beginning writing. He uses a really good analogy of a man who is running around feverishly and someone asks him, "Where are you going?" The man replies, "I have no idea." Another is a man working hard at an inventor's table putting parts together and when asked "What are you making?" the man stares blankly and says, "I haven't the slightest idea." Many writers write without purpose or premise and wonder why their work is lacking depth and substance. The novel I am working on has a premise and I know exactly where it's going and how I am going to get there and how to prove my premise. Mistaking plot, the main idea, and sequence for the heart of the thing can result in a lot of frustration and time wasted. The underlying cause drives every action of the characters. If someone I didn't know came and told me "We leave tomorrow," how excited would I be about leaving? I think I would mostly feel dread at the thought of going somewhere with no control over the situation. Instead, packing for a trip you have thoroughly planned or you at least know where you're going answers those tough questions of: bathing suit, ski googles, or malaria pills?
 
I know this sounds rudimentary, but for as long as I have been writing, you can easily reconnect with the basics and immediately make your writing and writing process stronger.
 
The EditorMuse

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