When your lover pulls out the toenail clippers on the couch in front of the telly one night, is your relationship at:

– The beginning of genuine authenticity
– The beginning of the end

I recently read a brilliant book published by the School of Life called “Relationships”. (I love that such a book doesn’t need a subtitle.) Alain de Botton, the school’s founder, is not a fan of the romantic notion of authenticity.

He says (and I paraphrase) some parts of ourselves need to be kept private. I’m for putting toenail clipping in that category. (And fortunately, so is my partner.)

I share this intimate insight with you, not to put you off, but to illustrate an idea many authors struggle with: the role of examples in writing.

Examples make abstract ideas concrete. I venture to suggest you cannot have too many examples. Had I simply written that you should keep secrets in your relationship, who knows where your wicked minds might have scurried?

Whenever you make a point, assume no one understands what the hell you are talking about and provide an example. Your writing will start to shine like a diamond.