As a reader, I look for a story that grips me from the beginning. It maybe the opening line, a well defined character, or an inciting scene. To become quickly immersed into a narrative, means the author has done a good job. We also tend to have certain authors we read as we know their skill in storytelling and the genre they write.
Choosing a book to read is a personal preference and a gift card is a good way to delight the reader in your family. Unless of course you know them very well and their reading likes and dislikes.
There are many ways a book can be defined as a good book.
A strong opening. A sentence or paragraph that compels you to continue reading.
Well defined and relatable characters.
A well written constructed plot.
The writer’s style absorbs you into the story.
Good use of description to let you ‘see’ the location/characters.
I love to set a reading challenge through Goodreads each year. Not only does it give me the opportunity to review every book I read, but also to track what I have read. You can see my 2021 list here:
It is always interesting to see the facts – pages read, books read and the average book length. This year that was 318 pages. This of course does not count the number of pages I read and re-read while writing my own!
Do you track your reading? What method do you use?
Once again it is that time of year when many writers immerse themselves into a frantic month of writing. National Novel Writing Month gives writers the opportunity to begin, or indeed finish a writing project. Taking part is a challenge, it certainly motivates and is a great experience in writing to a deadline. This banner says it all.
My project this year is book two of The Delphic Murders, my detective trilogy. The title is A Tainted Search. Unfortunately, I managed to delete last year’s project, book one, The Elusive Trail, when I changed the date by mistake. Although, it does show as a goal. Onward and upward as they say. That manuscript has already gone through several revisions and edits.
Personally, I have found NaNoWriMo to be useful for my writing, as stated in the illustrated banner, but also as the vehicle to meet other writers around the globe. We are all experiencing this challenge in different ways, with varying success, but in a uniquely linked way through the portal. It is also a personal challenge and one we can learn from in regard to our writing technique and commitment. Having such a shared experience and the ability to communicate while doing it makes it a fun project, although anxiety inducing as we watch the word counter.
Are you entering the challenge this year? I’m happy to be a buddy – my user name isMandyB
Please share your project so we can encourage and support each other.
My review: A powerful story of chance, decisions, love and loss for a woman caught in an impossible position, trying to survive and finding courage where others fled. Beautifully constructed and written.
I am returning to a favorite book, Ferney by James Long. No matter how many times I read it, I am always transported to the world of Ferney and Gally, their connection across time, their love spanning decades in different guises. For me it is the consummate reincarnation story. It was decades before I began writing after reading it and more years before I wrote my own reincarnation novel, The Twesome Loop. It is homage to Mr. Long’s perfect story and my own decades long interest in reincarnation and life after death.
I wondered what famous authors chose as their favorite book, and found these.
‘Ship of Fools’ by Katherine Ann Porter, Chosen by Stephen King
‘Love Medicine’ by Louise Erdrich, Chosen by Tana French
‘The Mill on the Floss’ by George Eliot, Chosen by Ken Follett
Victory by Joseph Conrad, Chosen by Joan Didion
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, Chosen by R.L. Stine
As we welcome autumn/fall with its brilliant colour metamorphosis across the landscape, we begin to think of cooler weather and a new space to write. We transition from writing on the deck, in a beach house, or a lakeside cabin to a cozier study or quiet room with a view or flickering fireplace. The seasons affect our mood and in turn our writing. These seasonal changes can also add to our content.
If we are on the cusp of a new project, we can use the crisp mornings and evenings to walk in nature and percolate ideas. We can watch the flames dance in a fire-pit or the leaves dancing on the wind or crunching beneath our feet. Why not take day trips to a wine festival, a corn maze, a pumpkin farm, immerse yourself in the season and its special harvest of smells and sights.
Let your imagination experience this new season and bring your idea to life. Ask yourself what your new project’s genre might be.
Is it an autumnal romance?
A spooky horror?
A ghost story?
A contemporary ‘change’ of scene narrative?
If you are in the midst of a project use nature as an example and lose any extraneous content, edit with the thought that the project will be renewed, fresh and improved. It is a reorganization, much like changing your clothing to suit the cooler weather. The autumn/fall scenery can inspire more descriptive language – colour, scents, mood and more.
With the change to autumn/fall, we can utilize the season to promote a book that reflects it. For me, I begin to think about my little monster, Rumble, and his Halloween adventure. I will be looking at a specific promotion for this children’s picture book.