From the readers view…
We’ve all done it. Picked up a book and become so engrossed with the tale that we lost track of time. A story so powerful that when put down, you couldn’t wait to get back to it!
King, Ringo, Flynn, Child…these top selling authors know that the secret to great story telling isn’t just clever plots and surprising twist. No. It’s something deeper and much harder to craft. It’s making the reader care about the characters!
It’s what we all strive to do when writing and its perhaps the most difficult part of our trade. Too many details and you come of sounding like a set of installation instructions. To vague and your creations have no more depth than the paper they appear on. So how do we draw our audience in? We whisper…
Think about an all time favorite read. Your first…close your eyes…you can still see them can’t you? The protagonist and the equally important antagonist are likely still clearly visible in your memory. In my case there were several of each available in Stephen King’s: The Stand. I first read it in the summer of 1978 at the age of fourteen.
I can still remember the main story lines and my favorite characters. Why? Because they became real to me! They were flawed, conflicted and unsure of themselves. We were given glimpse into their inner beings, the emotions, the desires and fears combined with a rich and visual setting that was shown more than told.
Symmetry. What we as writers strive to achieve as we shape and mold our visions. Good writing is carefully crafted. GREAT writing is inspired! Having mentors and formal training certainly helps but from my personal experience what seems to help the most is simply this:
· Reading! Read what you love and read something new. Expand your horizons and hone your craft by studying what works.
· Write! My goal is a thousand words a day. I don’t always succeed but I try to write something every day.
So how do we write from a reader’s point of view? Sit down with your characters. Ask them questions and listen to what they have to say. Every muse is different or so I’ve heard. I personally am never entirely sure were my protagonist will take me or even exactly sure of the final outcome. They seem to take on a voice uniquely their own and demand I tell it just so. It’s fun. So many doors and so little time!
I’m still learning…a LOT…but if it stops being fun I’ll find something else to do. So write like you read…for the fun of it!