What is money? How is its value set?

How much do you know about where and how money gets its worth? Is money real, or just a construct? Does money have a real value or just an agreed upon worth? Who sets the value of the money you spend?

Most of these questions can be summed up in this statement, “Money is any article or substance used as a medium of exchange, measure of wealth, or means of payment, as checks on demand deposit or cowrie.”

Or another way to say it is: “Money is an idea that both governments and their citizens have agreed to use as an easy form of exchange that has a floating value.” (This is why the “cost” of things changes all the time.)

Now here are a few interesting things about money.

  1. The worth (value) of money may go up or down, based on the perceived stability of the economy of the issuing country, regardless of the amount in circulation.
  2. A country can manipulate the value of its money (exchange rate) by:
  3. Increasing or decreasing the supply or adjusting their prime interest rate
  4. Posting good or bad news about the economy (or sometimes withholding information)
  5. Releasing information on its budget, debt, and/or trade agreements
  6. Buying up or selling off its or another country’s currency
  7. Other countries can also affect the value of your dollar by doing many of the same things listed above.

My next book, Lethal Interest, will deal with these matters.


What is money anyway?

If you are confused about Bitcoins vs. Physical money vs. Stock Market and so on, here is a short little article that will help put the different world/U.S. money options in perspective. After you read it, you will see most of the world’s money is electronic and not physical. Also, if you say bitcoins are not real but the U.S. dollar is, you may be surprised to learn that all moneys are built on trust, including Gold and Silver. The trust is that others will accept the money and accept it at or close to the value you received it at. But what if this were all to change? (Lead in to my next novel) 



Where do I start in writing a novel?

Answer-As close to the end as possible.

Where  should you start when you are writing your story? That is a question that every author must answer for every book they write. You want your reader to know the reasons your characters are the way you are making them, and to do this you might feel it is necessary to tell your protagonist’s background up front. You want your reader to know the whys. But is this really necessary? Everybody has history, the things in their lives that make them who they are. But Is that important when you first meet them? Do you question them to find out why they act the way they do? Of course not.

If someone came up to you and said, “Hi, my name is Bob and I want to tell you my full history so you can understand me.” You might think he was weird or even crazy. So why does the reader need to know everything about your character up front? Your reader, like you, enjoys the journey of discovery. When you meet someone, you learn about them over time, in bits and pieces. And that is how your reader should learn about their new friends, the ones in your novel. Feed your reader their background one card at a time. Let them discover who your character is, as needed.

My first pass at Fatal Transaction was filled with back story. I wanted the reader to know everything I did about Derry, who he was, why he was the way he was and so on. I had built a long and in-depth history for this man. When I showed the book to a publisher, she told me to “start as near to the end of the story as possible”. It was the best piece of advice I could have received on my writing. The rewrite came out clearer, faster paced, and more precise. In other words, a far better story.             

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