Life is outrageous. Life is unbelievable. Life is drudgery. Life can be all of those things and more. Story is the outrageous and unbelievable without the drudgery, without the breakfast cereal, the ‘hello, how are you this morning,’ and ‘how does your garden grow?’ unless, of course, the cereal is laced with arsenic, the hello is from a serial killer or the garden hides a body. In other words, unless they are vital to the telling of your story. Keep your story moving. Match the pace to the story. Don’t slow it with unnecessary words, beautiful though they may be, if they don’t progress the story, they don’t belong in it.
Have you ever become so immersed in a book that you became oblivious to everything else? Has a story grabbed you and not let go until you got to ‘The End’? Reality recedes when you dive deep enough to live in a story world, hearing, seeing, feeling and smelling it as if it is happening to you. Storytelling like this will bring readers back to your books.
Especially in romantic fiction, deepening point of view is effective for pulling your reader so far in that they feel as if they experience the story. Look for anything which could obscure or put distance between the reader and the story.
As writers, we need to read in order to fill up the well of creativity.
Reading good books broadens and expands one’s mind, vocabulary, and horizons. It exposes one to new writing styles, voices, ideas, and viewpoints. It gives one the opportunity to learn about writing by studying how our betters use words, structure sentences, stories, and arguments.
We can learn from pretty much anyone and anything. Learning what not to do almost as important as learning what to do. So, please excuse me while I get back to my book…
There are all kinds of books in my library. Books I lose myself in and books in which I have found myself. One never knows which kind of book one is going to be when you take it down off the shelf.
As a writer, it’s much the same, at least for me. Some books take me away and I never want to come back. Others answer questions I wasn’t aware I needed to ask. I have a special fondness for books which teach me something unexpectedly.