Friday, September 27, 2013

Why I Am Not Turning the Pages of This Novel

I've been away across the country visiting my family and am now back and trying to catch up. Here's the beginning of a great article I missed last Sunday on The Kill Zone blog, by my favorite writing "guru," James Scott Bell, who shares his words of wisdom there every Sunday. For the rest of these 5 insightful tips, click on the link at the end of this excerpt. Keep on reading and writing!  - Jodie

Why I Am Not Turning the Pages of This Novel 

by James Scott Bell  @jamesscottbell 

Recently I posted about why I found a novel to be a true page-turner. I'm gratified so many authors found it helpful.

So I thought I'd share today the opposite type of experience: reading a mediocre novel I will not finish. (See also Friday's question and comments). 

I'm not going to name the book, because I don't believe in running down fellow authors. Nor will I quote anything verbatim. But I do think there are some important lessons to be learned.  

1. An Opening Without Disturbance

The first-person narrator of this crime novel is moving through a setting, describing it, and then getting in a car and moving some more, then getting to another location and getting out of the car, and then talking to some people. This is, by definition, action. But it does nothing to hook the reader. Why? Because there's no trouble, or even a portent of it.
 
What hooks a reader faster than anything else is when...
 
For the rest of this excellent article, click HERE. 

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