September 17, 2004
News & Opinion: #4: The Main Point Keeps Getting Repeated
This is the final piece in my 4-part series on book writing styles and then its on to some great new books I have read Imagine that you are reading a business book and get hooked right away. It has a great premise, powerful examples and seemingly sound theory. Wow you keep turning the pages and cant wait to see where all of this is going. But by chapter 3 or 4 the book has begun to loose its former luster. It just appears that there is not much more to the book than that one single, exciting idea. In fact, it could have served much better as an article. Instead its the same concept brought up again and again but with no real new meat added to it. This happens ALL the time, in my experience. Why? While writing The Medici Effect I thought a lot about this. In part, I think, it involves the author believing that important points have to made several times in order for the reader to get them. I found myself constantly wanting to revisit points I had made earlier just to make sure I had placed enough emphasis on them. As the manuscript grew, however, my confidence in the reader grew as well. Points should really only have to be made very well once or twice, and then one should move on. It keeps the reader alert and interested in what is coming next.