I had a post already written for today, then after reading a few books this weekend, a different set of words and paragraphs took shape in my writer’s brain.
We have all heard that in order to write
good well we need to read, read, read some more and write, write, write. Right? After reading the books I’ve read this weekend I’m convinced that not only should you read the good, but also the bad and the ugly.
Well written books can teach us about plot, setting, characters, dialogue, how to keep the author’s voice from intruding, transition between scene and character, and so on. The List could go on for a few paragraphs but, in the interest of saving you some reading time I cut it short.
Bad and ugly books actually have just as much to teach us aspiring authors about how important it is to:
1. Have someone read your book and tell you the truth about the contents.
2. Clear transitions between scene and character is a must.
3. Keeping to one central plot and theme is uber-important reference to flow and consistency.
4. Each character must have a their own voice.
5. Don’t throw in something out of the clear blue (or storm gray) sky that suddenly saves the character.
And (not really last but the list is too long)…
6. Characters should not change who they are every other line, paragraph, or chapter.
With that having been said, I’m not unhappy that I read the books I chose to read. I learned a lot and in fact I plan on keeping them for that reason and only that reason.
I’m not in a hurry to see my books in print, being read by millions (yeah I said millions), garnering some interest from Hollywood, get an insanely huge amount for an advance, have talk show hosts and internet radio hosts calling for interviews, etc, etc, etc. (I know I should have used one etc. but I didn’t feel like it.) 🙂
I’ll take my time to get the books finished, at least three months each anyway. I know it’s not the time frame for finishing that makes a book good, bad, or ugly, it is the willingness of the author to write it right, or well, or correctly. Right?
Have you read anything really bad or ugly lately that has helped you in some way?