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91
The Craft of Writing / Re: How to read as a writer?
« Last post by Pons on September 04, 2019, 07:41 AM »
You've gotten great advice already. Here's my two cents.

If I really want to analyze a novel, I read it more than once. The first time through is pretty much for plot. Then I read it again looking for characterization, setting, theme, sub plots, etc. For me, the plot usually provides the bones or scaffolding for everything else. I need to get the structure in place in order to have the other elements emerge for analyzing.

After many years of doing this, I can now do it in one reading, but reading for pleasure and reading for analysis are two different things for me.
92
The Craft of Writing / Re: How to read as a writer?
« Last post by Vijaya on September 04, 2019, 06:34 AM »
:welcome Erin. You've rec'd good advice already--dissecting books, typing out text for picture books. Let me add, reading aloud.
Some books that can help you with this process are writing books that analyze stories.

Francine Prose has a book with exactly that title: Reading like a Writer.
Save the Cat Goes to the Movies (movies and novels are different animals but they both tell stories so I found this book helpful).
Don Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel cites many, many examples too.

Happy reading and writing. 
93
The Craft of Writing / Re: How to read as a writer?
« Last post by erin-beth-duddles on September 03, 2019, 08:26 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts!
This might be one of those trial and error things that everyone keeps talking about. One of those practice things.  :sigh

I gave myself unrealistic research goals and broke my fingers carrying bags of books home from the library. (No, not really. My fingers are fine.)
But now that I think about it, I was a little over-zealous, and I just made myself overwhelmed. Small chucks would be smarter. Thanks!
94
Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Character flaw arc vs. save the world arc?
« Last post by erin-beth-duddles on September 03, 2019, 08:10 PM »
Thanks for your input Debbie! This was super helpful!
My heart and soul is in the flawed characters figuring things out. I'm going to brainstorm on how to raise the stakes in the beginning.
A root flaw that manifests in different ways/behaviors is definitely what this sounds like.
I'm relieved. I was bracing myself for another rewrite. I think sometimes I get so focused on doing my story the "right" way that I forget that there is no one right way to write a good story.  :bangbreak
95
Middle Grade (MG) / Re: Character flaw arc vs. save the world arc?
« Last post by Debbie Vilardi on September 03, 2019, 06:19 PM »
Either of the books you describe could appeal if done well. It's my firm belief we do well what we put our hearts and souls into.

That said, since that doesn't help you much, I don't know that you can't have two flaws or one flaw and great voice. Rabbits are underdogs by nature. Over confidence is a flaw in itself. It means not wanting to accept help from those beneath but also not being able to admit to those above you that maybe you aren't all you said you were. To me, this is a single flaw that shows itself in more than one way, as often happens. I think you can keep that flaw and up the stakes at the same time.

We don't love Harry or Katniss because of their harsh beginnings or flaws. We love them because they grow into their own destinies and voices and stand for what is right even when it's hard. We love them despite those flaws.

Just some stuff to think about. (I've never read a Save the Cat book.)
96
The Craft of Writing / Re: How to read as a writer?
« Last post by Debbie Vilardi on September 03, 2019, 06:11 PM »
I find this hard to do, but sometimes something jumps at me. For example, I read a passage that was all telling and could've been shown in the same number of words. Maybe think about the thing you need to work on while you read. Don't focus on reading as a writer, but rather on answering how a writer (that specific one) handles whatever it is you're weak at. For me, it would be having enough description to center the scene without slowing the pacing.)

Also, read in small chunks. This keeps you from getting so caught up in the story you forget to notice whatever it is.

I hope this helps.
97
The Craft of Writing / Re: How to read as a writer?
« Last post by RebeccaL-G on September 03, 2019, 06:10 PM »
If it's a novel look at where anticipated plot line events happen for the plot and each subplot--which page--and create plot lines for plot and overlapping ones for subplots; note where you see tension; do a character study.

For picture books: type it out yourself, then dummy it out and make note of how page turns advance the plot. Look at the verbs that were chosen. Count the words in each sentence. Create a plot line and note how many words and pages are in each section of the plot line.

For nonfiction I find it helpful to look at techniques used to make it interesting and try to figure out how the author/editor determined what sidebars and back matter would be included. It's also helpful to look at how source notes and/or bibliography is handled.  I also ask myself what sets this book apart from similiar nonfiction books published 10-20 years ago.
98
The Craft of Writing / How to read as a writer?
« Last post by erin-beth-duddles on September 03, 2019, 05:54 PM »
Does anyone have a process or any tips on how to read like a writer? Aka: how to read intentionally and study a published work to mine it for teachable examples of what to do/what not to do?
My problem might be that I can't see the forest for the trees.  :confused2
99
Off Topic Board / Re: A nice little compliment from a Pulitzer winner
« Last post by Gatz on September 03, 2019, 03:06 PM »
Vijaya,

Thanks so much! I'm looking into this.

Gatz
100
Off Topic Board / Re: A nice little compliment from a Pulitzer winner
« Last post by Vijaya on September 03, 2019, 12:08 PM »
Gatz, do think about self-publishing or hiring someone to do the work for you. There's a good one in my area: https://www.palmettopublishinggroup.com/  The only reason I didn't go with them is because I wanted to have full creative control so learned how to do many technical things--alas I have a bit less hair now  :-\ I did hire an artist for cover/logo and very pleased. I posted some tips here: https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com/2018/07/showing-off-my-new-book-baby-with.html  I say all this because if I can do this, you can too. Esp. since all the hard work of writing the book and editing and polishing is done.
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