I love reading, have done ever since I was a child and cannot remember a time when I was unable to read. When the stories continued in my head after I’d finished the book, I thought I can do this—and proved that I could! However, there is a drawback to being a writer, a story-teller—I automatically read the novel on two levels. Firstly for enjoyment, of course, and like you, I try to second guess the villain, but my mind also takes a branch line and corrects errors, cuts unneeded words .and bits that don’t move the story on…and established writers are sometimes guilty, too. Or perhaps their editors!
You must all have heard the phrase “Show, don’t tell!” You know the kind of thing. Page after tedious page of description of surroundings, the heroine’s appearance and the hero’s feelings, when a few carefully chosen words of conversation would bring the most wooden of characters to life and set the scene. I sometimes wonder if the author has been told to get the word count up, hence all the padding!
Which brings me nicely back to my current novel Church Close, I’m still working through it again bearing all my advice in mind!
Another tip. Next time you’re on the bus, or in the supermarket, listen to the way people speak to avoid stilted conversation.
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