As a ghostwriter, it’s a unique prospect to try to pick up another’s thread. But, that is what we readers do. Isn’t it? A well written story has the reader anticipating the next scene on the next page and where the story is going. It’s even more prevalent in a series. You get to know the characters, you strike a friendship – maybe they remind you of you or of someone you know. They have flaws, successes, failures, and they work through them. I didn’t intend to digress into character development, but simply a preamble to think about for next week.
20,000 words into an 80,000 word book, I find myself often turning to Stephen Wilber’s Mastering the Craft of Writing. The book’s well worn pages a reminder that writing, like music, like art, requires constant practice, honing, learning, and growing. At the end of each chapter, there are exercises to help you and in one such chapter a short list of vocabulary I’d seen in my reading. It was an interesting exercise to see how many of the words I actually understood and knew the definition. But, there were quite a few words I had no idea of their meaning, but when I looked up their synonyms, I knew them.
In recent years, I’ve read some truly great stories. Often, I’m quoting them or thinking about story arc. Reading voraciously helps me to be a better writer. For example, In Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, there is a phrase which has stuck with me because it paints a vibrant scene in its pacing setting the tone for.exactly.how.the.character.feels. I never would have thought that way to set character pacing possible had I not read his books.
A turn of phrase. A sentence that breaks all the grammar barriers. A word you think you should know, but have to look up in the dictionary just in case. Here’s to finding your voice in a sea of others. In the land of Twitter, Snapchat, and text speak in general, it’s easy to IMO, IDK, LOL, and TTFN one’s way through the day. But, to see a world in a grain of sand, makes me want to dive deep into story and come out the other side richer for it.
*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the above links. These are simply recommendations linked for ease only.