by Deren Hansen
in which Lister, the space bum, catches a mutated flu that brings his
confidence and paranoia to life as distinct individuals: paranoia as a
sniveling hypochondriac and confidence as an American-style DJ.
is a funny word because though we associate it with personalities and
emotional states that range from quiet fortitude to bravado, its Latin
roots literally mean, "with faith." In its original sense, the word
means someone in whom we can put our faith.
the single most important factor in our willingness to suspend our
disbelief is the degree to which we trust the author, believe they have
the story firmly in control, and have faith they will take us somewhere
wonderful and worthwhile.
A confident author is like
the nautical pilot, hand firmly on the tiller, who knows how to guide a
ship through the reefs and safely into port. Nothing that happens in the
story is accidental. And everything the author brings to our attention
contributes to the ultimate aim of a satisfying story.
So what do you need to do to be a confident author?
not about bravado, but about control--and not the control of a
commander shouting orders, but the control of the expert dancer or
musician who makes what they do look effortless. Similarly, the
confident author writes intentionally but with such craft that the reader is swept into the story and almost forgets it has an author.
Deren Hansen is the author of the Dunlith Hill Writers Guides. Learn more at dunlithhill.com.