I recently read my first supernatural thriller and was surprised by several items. While I may not buy the entire backlist by that author I did find myself reading the book whenever I had a few minutes. I couldn't put it down. Why was that?
~I found myself relating to and empathizing with the characters and their motivations.
Presenting your characters as life-like with real goals and dreams helps the reader to connect with them. And once a reader has that feeling you about your characters or story have them hooked. Write more than surface level feelings. Explain why the character feels the way they do and what make them get to that state of mind.
This was a powerful example of 'show don't tell' which will drive my future writing to provide descriptions to move the reader into the story without lecturing. While reading the lines, I felt as if I was in the same location as the setting. I could feel the surroundings and hear the sounds that those in the book were experiencing. Remember to write to the senses – touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing.
~The prose were not the best I've read but that rarely detracted from the story line.
As an example, a descriptive word was used multiple times in the same sentence or paragraph. I'm from a harder school of practice where you shouldn't repeat a word even on the same page.
Understanding this isn't a sign of poor writing which limits book sales, I have fewer worries about my own writing.
~The verbiage used was more basic than I use.
While there were no grammatical errors in the story the writing seemed at a lower grade level. This provided me with supportive evidence I don't need to be such a perfectionist with my own stories. A tale is more about the characters and their journey than the literary scripts.
Whether you love or hate any book you read consider why you have those feelings and turn the answers into a learning experience for your own writing.
What was the last book you read that surprised you?
What did you learn about the art of writing from it?
Let me know below or contact me directly.
Richard E Todd, author of The Golf Rules series, Short Stories from the Long Links, and other titles has been heard on the PGA Tour radio station and seen in On The Greenmagazine. Contact him at Richard@AuthorRichardETodd.com and follow him on social media and at www.AuthorRichardETodd.com ✍ and www.TheGolfRules.com.⛳