Monday, November 26, 2012
Translating Reading to Fine Writing
So, how do I translate what I'm reading into principles I can integrate into my writing?
1) I read the story for pure enjoyment. If it grabs me and takes me on a breathtaking ride, I go with it.
2) After I finish, I evaluate how the book affected me. Did I keep getting pulled out of the story or was I engaged the entire time? Did the author create characters that were sympathetic or did I want to slap them silly? Was the ending satisfying or did it leave me feeling cheated?
3) When I narrow down the aspects of the book I liked and the ones I found unsatisfactory, I ask myself, "how did she/he do it?" Did the author make all those historical references a natural part of the story or did they pound me over the head with facts? What techniques did the author use to evoke an emotional response in me, the reader?
4) I then compare the methods against my WIP. I'll re-read sections and see if they're effective or need more work.
5) If I were reading my book, would I want to have a sequel or be disappointed at the end?
Writers: How do you translate what you read into tips for your own writing?
Readers: What makes a book go from so-so to so awesome?