Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reading to Improve Your Writing

At first, I planned to post a book review. That was until I realized that the book was about ten years old and after visiting Amazon learned that there are over five hundred reviews listed. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/False-Memory-Dean-Koontz/product-reviews/0553592149/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 I figured no one really needs my opinion on this book.

Guess what, I will share it anyway. If you are a Dean Koontz Fan and haven't read False Memory, do yourself a favor and pick it up. It's one of those rare ones that once you pick it up, you won't put it down. When I made the purchase, I felt that I'd lost interest in reading. I couldn't make it past the first few chapters with anything I picked up. Halfway through this book I realized that it wasn't my interest that was lacking it was the writing of the book.

Reading to Improve Your Writing This is where both types of books come in handy.

How did the writer pull you in? How did she fail in doing so?

Watch for flashbacks. Do they work? If so, why?

Do the characters feel real? If not, what qualities should the writer included to make them real?

As a writer, much can be learned by other's successes and failures. When it's done right, the stories flow like magic. The seams are hard to see. But when it's done wrong, different characteristics of the story will pop out at you.

I'm currently trying to read another book. It was written by another of my favorite authors. It's just not sucking me in. Why? For one, I feel the writer jumped from one character's view to another's too often. It also seems that most of what is going on at the beginning is letting the reader get familiar with the characters, who are great by the way. I'm hoping that the pace picks up soon and stuff starts happening. I guess that may be my number one issue with the book. The pace is unusually slow.

What do you look for as you read a book?

6 comments:

Terry W. Ervin II said...

I've never been a fan of Koontz. Not that his writing isn't good, just not what I usually read. But if I stumble across False Memory, may give it a shot.

Sometimes writers are more critical of what they read. I normally read in two modes:

1. Entertainment Mode
2. Reading to Learn how to Write Better Mode

Usually with a favorite author, it's the first mode, followed by the second.

Cher Green said...

Terry, I agree, I may start out in learning mode but normally I get sucked in. Then I have to start all over, lol.

False Memory is about brainwashing. The main character seems to have it all, but when she becomes scared of herself and the horror that she is capable of, her life spins out of control. The characters in this book are great.

SandyDaley said...

I'm glad for this review. I've been a fan for Dean Koontz for a couple of years, but not all of his books are huge success for me. Others leave a big impression with me long after I've finished reading.

Cher Green said...

Sandy,
Glad to know the review was useful to someone. I'm not one of those that goes out and buys the books as they roll off the press. I'm using reading older books. As a writer, I need to be scanning the top seller list. Of course, when it contains top namers what's the point. I guess you can concentrate on any newbies hitting the charts.

MysteryKnitter said...

Interesting thoughts.

Cher Green said...

Thanks. :)

 
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