February 25th, 2010

book and glasses

A reader dishes advice to writers

Somebody by the name of Laura Miller, writing in Salon, came up with a "I"m a reader hear me roar" piece.

Here's part of her intro:

Readers are what every novelist really wants, so isn't it about time that a reader offered them some advice? I've never written a novel, and don't expect to ever do so, but I've read thousands. More to the point, I've started 10 times the number of books that I've finished. Much of the time, I'm sampling brand-new novels that aren't great -- that frequently aren't even very good -- each one written by someone sincerely hoping to make his or her mark. I can tell you why I keep reading, and why I don't, why I recommend one book to my fellow readers, but not another. I've also listened to a lot of other readers explain why they gave up on a book, as well as why they liked it. Here are my five recommendations for the flailing novice...

Yes, indeed. Readers ARE what every novelist wants.

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Kipling said,
"There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,

Do what is right for you, for the story. It will be right. For SOME reader. Somewhere.

New Worldweavers Icon courtesy of Jim Hi

Spin-off post

From the ranty post of earlier today about the reader dishing advice to the writers - dichroic writes in comments:

"...one thing that surprised me is how many of the books I love *don't* really have a story, as such - or have a number of stories in a row- but where the character growth is the continuing thread. Coming of age stories often go that way - Little Women, Tom Sawyer, Anne of Green Gables.

That's actually kind of interesting to think about: your Thea stories *do* have a plot. I think the difference is that Thea's growth is important to those books and necessary to the plot, but isn't what they're *about* in the same way that Little Women is *about* Jo growing up. Or maybe that's totally off base ...hmmmm."

I'd be very interested in hearing what other readers out there who have read the Worldweavers books and are in a position to comment on this idea might think about it...
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