Read Like a Writer Series #2
For your personal reading, try a balance of classical literature and modern. The authors of the classic novels will teach you about stories that hold their appeal over the generations. The current bestselling authors will teach you about the kind of writing that succeeds today.
The first time you read a story, enjoy it. If you like the story, study the plot to learn how the author builds the story to a climax by ratcheting up the suspense as the story moves forward.
What problems keep the main character from success? What is the big issue the main character has to deal with in the story? This problem will be so big that it starts early in the story and isn’t solved until the climax. What is the main character’s secret problem – so secret he or she isn’t even aware of it? This problem will be psychological rather than physical. This hidden problem also takes the whole story to develop, reveal and solve.
Study the way the author develops the characters. How do they change as the story progresses? Observe the author’s voice in the story. What is unique or special about the way the author writes? What’s the theme of the story? Did you spot multiple themes?
Read the story several times until you understand how the author created it. Consider what works and what doesn’t work. For the classics, ask if the story would be published by today’s publishers? Consider what makes a classic a “forever” story.
I would be honored if you choose one of my stories for your next reading experience. If you do, please let me know how you enjoyed it by commenting below or on Amazon. I also enjoy hearing from readers at my author’s email address which is paul dot lloyd dot author at gmail dot com. (Thanks for taking time to figure out that email address so I don’t have to worry about the spider bots getting me.)
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