Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Good Books-Great Books: Readers and Writers Together

“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.”
― Stephen King

Good man, Stephen, and any reader or writer worth his or her salt will agree with him whole-heartedly. 

Readers don’t want a dump of info all at one time. They don’t want to be given every little inside tidbit that would ruin the ending of the story for them. They want to be teased and tricked, drawn into the story, to become a part of it.

Writers want to provide them with just that. A tease, a hook and some great entertainment. 

So where does that leave everyone? 

In a very good place. How many times do the giver and receiver actually agree on what they’re looking for and trying to do? 

Consider the great books you’ve read.  Even the not so great ones. There are hints and suggestions as you go along and part of the enjoyment of reading is guessing what’s coming next. 

From the writer’s side part of that same enjoyment is hooking the reader, giving that reader just enough to make him or her want to keep reading; need to know how it’s all going to turn out. So how do writers do that? That’s not so easy to explain. You could say they create fascinating, engaging characters against an engrossing setting with an intriguing problem to be overcome. 

I could say that and probably very few people would know what the heck I was talking about really. No, it’s much more complicated than that. Each writer is different in his or her approach. Some create detailed outlines, other fly by the seat of their pants. Some write with words flowing, others have a movie running inside their heads. “Just open a vein” some writers say. Others quip, “stare at the blank screen until blood beads on your forehead.” 

Readers just have to enjoy and maybe leave a favorable or not so favorable review. You guys have it easy. And, when Writers are in reader mode they have it easy to. 

Then there’s writer mode and things change. If you’re a reader aiming at writer status there are a few things you should remember. For starters learn the language you’re writing in. No, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can’t be sloppy. Read other writers you enjoy. Get hints and tips on style and story crafting, but don’t go the plagiarism route. You’re creative. You don’t even have to consider taking someone else’s work. But reading the work of the others can give you a very good feel for story structure, dialog flow and what genre you feel most comfortable in writing. Get to know your prospective audience. Lots of readers read in many genres, but each genre is a world onto itself. Learn all about that world. 

Readers – well I’d like to urge you to support the writers generally and specifically the ones you really enjoy reading. Think about posting a review somewhere when you really enjoy a book. Talk about what you liked and maybe didn’t like. 

Writers and readers are a team. So come on, tell us what you love about reading, writing and what authors you enjoy reading – and if you have the time, why. The more we share the better we become.

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