Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing ~ What’s Your End Story?

Image result for writerWhat motivates writers? The urge to create, certainly. The need to share, possibly. But what, at the end of the story, do you hope to accomplish?

Some of us write just for ourselves, but most of us want our work to be read. So what is it that we hope to invoke in our readers? Thrills, chills, entertainment. An emotional connection, reassurance, enrichment. An epiphany, a life changing experience, words that touch the soul. Image result for Funny Author Memes

While we may have different motivations and goals for our stories, we share many stepping stones on the journey we take to get from the once upon a time to the end. Whether it’s a thriller with the fate of the world at stake, a romance with true love on the line, a mystery with lives in danger, or a single character’s internal struggle, there’s one thing that will keep your audience reading.

Readers need to feel personally invested in the story. Whether it’s in the destiny of the characters or the outcome of the story of the whole, if readers care, they’ll keep reading.

 

Image result for attached to book characters meme  The easiest way to invest a reader is with an emotional connection. Whether through a character who shares an experience that the reader can relate to, or even just the ambient feeling the writer creates through their story that the reader can get onboard with, such as hope, or the world becoming a better place, having something that your readers can identify with will help invest them in your story and keep them turning the pages. The trick is discovering what works for you.

How do you establish a connection with your readers? Is there a certain emotion you target? As a reader, what keeps you hooked?

Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell ~ #Mystery #BookReview

35389818I picked this up because the premise of the book sounded interesting. Happily, I wasn’t disappointed – I couldn’t put it down. The author wrote it in a way that allowed the reader endless theories, and I had to find out which suppositions I had were right, and which were wrong. Happily, (again), I couldn’t be certain until the end.

This is huge for me as both a reader and a writer – if I’m certain I know how the book is going to end (and let’s face it, there are a LOT of books that are a bit too obvious out there) – what’s to keep me (or a future reader of mine) reading?

I love being kept off guard and being blindsided (when reading). I absolutely ADORE when an author sneaks in something I hadn’t even considered, but, as long as I can’t predict everything that happens from page 1 to The End, I’ll generally keep reading. (I almost never put a book down unfinished, and when I do, it haunts me until I pick it back up, because who knows – maybe there’s a good surprise in there somewhere.)

Good character development, a nice, fluid writing style, and plenty of mystery and suspense – my kind of book! I wouldn’t hesitate to read this author again. 5 stars!

Beware the Past by Joy Ellis ~ #Mystery #BookReview

37562080This was a juicy piece of mystery! I have to say that I was worried when I first started reading this – every noun had at least one adjective, which slowed the pacing and made the sentences feel bogged down and cumbersome, but soon enough, the author shed her excess and settled into a more comfortable groove which kept the book glued to my hand!

There’s plenty of twists and turns and red herrings in this one, and while it wasn’t completely unpredictable (except, perhaps, the very, very end), there was no way I could have stated my suspicions with much conviction. There was a lot going on, but it worked! I’d definitely read another book by this author. 5 stars!

Thursday’s Thoughts on #Writing ~ How’s the View?

Image result for point-of-view memeI just read a piece on why your story should have two narrators. Nowhere in the piece did it discuss anything about point-of-view, which seemed kind of strange to me, but I didn’t write it, so who am I to judge? While I can see the benefits of sharing multiple character’s points of view with readers, and actually do so rather frequently in my own writing, I also think care needs to be taken to ensure the reader knows whose thoughts they’re reading at all times. (We’ve probably all read books where the author shifts viewpoint so many times that it’s like being inside the head of an overachiever at a Dissociative Identity Disorder conference.)

Image result for going on an adventure memeAll the above being said, I also think it’s important to consider the type of point-of-view you use in your writing. The first time I read a book written in first person, I found it oddly uncomfortable at first. “I” was doing so much! But in time I came to like it, and it seems to be gaining popularity.

I’ve only written one or two short stories in second person, and I’ve found that, while reading stories written in second person, it’s really a big hit or miss for me. Either I really like it, or I hate it.

Image result for writer's point of view memeThird person limited seems to be the most commonly used form. It’s the good, old, safe, warm blanket of reading (or writing) from a character’s viewpoint without getting too intimate with the character too fast. We’re (readers) ‘watching’ more than ‘doing’. We know what the narrator wants us to know, little they don’t want us to know, and are left to draw our own conclusions.

Image result for chaos memeThird person omniscient would seem an easy solution to the ‘at least two narrators’ article I read, except that, as I said above, special care needs to be taken so that readers know what thought is attributed to what character. I get very frustrated when, as a reader, I have to read a sentence or paragraph multiple times to try to figure out which character’s viewpoint it is. I get even more frustrated when I still can’t figure it out after multiple readings – sometimes the author just doesn’t let you know, and while I can understand that sometimes this is done as a literary device to aid the plot, more times than not it’s just carelessness.

Then there’s unreliable narrators . . . I won’t get started on that. I’ll just say, when done properly, I enjoy it very much.

Image result for point-of-view memeWhat do you think? Do you think one point-of-view works better for different types of plots than others? Are you more comfortable writing (or reading) one type over the other? Have you noticed a trend in the point-of-view used that correlates to the amount of enjoyment or satisfaction you feel writing or reading? Does your work just instinctively choose one when you start writing, or do you try out different points-of-view until you find what works best for the piece? Inquiring minds want to know . . . 🙂

 

100 Best-Loved Poems ~ #Review

18681675I wasn’t a huge fan of this compilation. Many of the poems featured war or battle as their themes. The poems that I enjoyed are the same poems that are found in every poetry collection. I do feel, however, that I am learning/evolving/growing in my quest to develop a better appreciation for poetry – I’ve finally developed an admiration for poems that don’t rhyme, which I think stems from finally learning the cadence with which to read them – for years I struggled to find a beat or rhythm when a poem didn’t rhyme, but now I feel more confident that I’m reading them ‘correctly’. My quest continues . . . * 3 stars.