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The thing about writing is that there are a thousand books about how to do it, a millions seminars, and hyperbole out the wazoo … and they’re all wrong.

And they’re all right. “Write for your audience” is good advice, unless you don’t know who your audience is. Maybe it’s left-handed Capricorns who dig baseball and walks on the beach, or maybe it’s just you.

But we can’t even agree on grammar. If you don’t believe me, go to three libraries and look up the style guides. They’ll all be different. If we can’t agree on where exactly the question mark should go on a quote, how can we possibly agree on what makes a good paragraph or story? We can’t, and anyone with a brain doesn’t try.

As much as we may hate the cliché, the truth is, “I like what I like.” It’s why one person gives my book five stars and another gives it one (and would give it less if Amazon would let them). They may both be right. The negative scorer may talk about my grammar (ha!) or spelling or that I used a really old style manual to justify my use of subjective verbs but the real complaint is that he (or she) just didn’t like the story. The five star reader (my score for them) ignored the shortfalls because they liked the story or some turn of phrase (even if I didn’t spell all the words right).

And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

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About Sam White

Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at and doctortuttle,com) and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.”. He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as a chaplain with hospice. Contact him at In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.

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