Reading Like a Writer

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I realize this is  a topic that has been addressed numerous times, but it’s become such a huge part of how I read, that I wanted to share things I look for.  It provides for reading entertainment as well as learning from people who have gotten to where I’m journeying toward with my first novel, The Inheritance–published.  Ten things I look for in a book are:

1.) POV–Does the writer use first person, placing themselves as the main character, third person, seeing through the viewpoint of the main character, omniscient, which is a God-like presence who seems to know what everyone in the novel is thinking, or multiple viewpoint characters.  If there are multiple viewpoint characters, how does the author transition between the characters whose eyes I’m seeing from?  How would the novel read if it were written from a different POV?

2.)  How the characters relate to each other.  Is there enough tension?  Is the tension resolved in a way that leaves me satisfied, but not too soon?  Do the characters suffer and hurt so that I feel for them and they become real?

3.)  Sentence structure in non-fiction vs. fiction–Does the author use complete sentences, fragments, long or short sentences, and when is each used successfully?

4.)  Does the book leave me wanting more, or am I flipping through several pages at a time, eager to be done so I can start something else?

5.)  Does it grab my attention immediately and disperse enough action to hold my attention, or are there dead areas where I find myself planning what to make for dinner as I’m reading?

6.)  Does it flow easily or do I find myself having to re-read the same paragraph a few times to figure out where I got lost?

7.)  Are the characters believable?  And what about the protagonist–is s/he likable?

8.)  Does it appeal to the social, intellectual, emotional aspects of life or does the author relay any strong values?

9.)  Do the scene descriptions create a clear visual in my mind?

10.)  And last but not least, does the author use boring cliché’s or fresh word combinations?

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Happy Reading! 🙂

Special Post by Author John W. Howell

Big Launch in 2014 My GRL Fiction Thriller

By John W. Howell

Now available on Amazon a new Fiction Thriller published by Martin Sisters Publishing

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My GRL by John W. Howell is fast-paced thriller that shows how your life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. . . It is a well-written story that kept me glued, page after page.” Readers’ Favorite Five Stars – Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi. See the entire review HERE

Click cover to visit Amazon

Blurb:

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Author Bio:

Photo by Tim Burdick

Photo by Tim Burdick

John W. Howell’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. He also has a three times weekly blog at Fiction Favorites .

John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author Contact:

E-mail: johnwhowell.wave@gmail.com

Twitter: @HowellWave

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Make This Day Count

Today I pray we as a nation can celebrate how far we have come but not falter at working for how far we have yet to go. Vow to make this day count.

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Key excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream”:  “I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of  ‘interposition’ and ‘nullification’ — one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.”

Weekend Quote

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“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”

– Wayne Dyer

Why I Write

A Novel Journey

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Last week I received an email from the author of a blog I follow,  The Creative Penn, and the author asked her readers to think about why we write.  And that did, indeed, get me thinking…

I write because when I do, I:

*     Feel freedom and the ability to express myself in a way that nothing else can match.

*     Feel joy,  peace, and pure contentment.  Even if I’m working on a piece that doesn’t come easy, I’m in my element in the quiet     of my office with pen in hand or fingers on the keyboard, mood music playing softly on Pandora, and my mind creating whatever it happens to be creating at that moment.

Create.

 

 

 

 

 

*     Get more connected with God by making my thoughts concrete on the page, where oftentimes it’s then I can see where God is working in my life, or…

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Weekend Quote

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“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
―     Maya Angelou