As an aspiring author I am learning to read at two levels: reading through the eyes of both consumer and a producer of fiction. In doing so I am simultaneously enjoying the story while also watching for the author’s slight of hand which brings the story to life.
- I am trying to detect the foreshadowing where the author is hinting at plot twists.
- Recognising when my emotions are being engaged and how the author is achieving that.
- I’m examining my feelings about the characters and why I feel that way
- Looking for at what point the story has me hooked, and why I want to keep reading the book
As I read I am educating myself on techniques that the author is using. While reading Brandon Sanderson’s Alloy of Law I saw how prolific the dialog was, and I thought to myself that I should be doing that more in my stories…
I am currently reading John Grisham The Covenant, where the story is much more narrated than spoken, and this has made me realise that I was wrong.
My writing style is more in-brain than out-mouth, and that’s OK.
It doesn’t matter that my writing style doesn’t match a particular author’s style.
Every author will have their own style and as long as they can tell a good story that’s what counts.
That being said, I still think its important to experiment with styles and techniques. This helps to identify strengths and weaknesses, and see what works for you.
(I’m also still learning to be disciplined. Advice to self: time is short; make the most of it. Write when you can, and for goodness-sake, abort reading bad books before the end!)