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Keeping your “readers eye”

25 Dec

Readers tend to be different viewing books than writers. Readers want to get lost in the story, writers (whether they mean to or not) tend to see plot holes, poor characters, rambling prose, etc. etc.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch gives the advice, “Read for enjoyment”, because that’s what your readers do. I will be looking to contact her, as I am not sure how to do this.

Even before I decided to try and write, I would find aspects of books I would criticize. But readers often do the same things I have done. I know this, as I’ve talked to readers a lot, when I was a reader.

For instance, E.E. Knight, in his age of fire series, did an outstanding job describing the world he built through the characters. I do not want to give spoilers, but I believe I can share a few things.

For instance, a child observing and asking their parents questions. Siblings being very different, asking questions regarding that, then wondering about it. An outsider interested in learning the culture. All these and much more are perfect ways to build characters and world with the same words. No need to go rambling on and on, if you know how people act. If you don’t know how people act, you probably shouldn’t be writing. That’s what ghost writers are for.

Now, as a reader on the same series, there were a few things I found that just bugged me. Many writers do this, and they shouldn’t, in my opinion.

New novel touch ups. Writers build a world with character background in their first novels, then in following books in the same series they describe plot aspects that usually were woven into the characters so brilliantly. E.E. Knight did this as well. So much in fact, if it hadn’t been for his excellent storytelling in the first three novels, I wouldn’t have read the rest.

Let me give you a comparison to really help this point sink in. If you watch a movie, then a year or two later they come out with a sequel, do you expect half the first movie to be told again, or do you go watch the first again before you see the second?

A great example is lord of the rings, or Harry potter. If you didn’t see the first, you don’t understand the second and so forth. This isn’t just a marketing ploy.

A story being told has a flow, a rhythm, sudden stops and restarts interrupts this flow. These “touch ups” interrupt that flow the same as rewriting a small part of your story does.

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