I love to read. And I am a book addict, but I am a horrible reader. I am not observant. I pay little attention to names. I skim if I’m bored (or I won’t finish the book at all). I pay little attention to what the characters look like unless the author constantly reminds me or the character is a POC and then my eyes pop. As a result, most characters are are little more than moving bobs with color and gender in my head.
After publishing my first book, I began paying closer attention to what made good books. I started examining dialogue tags, descriptions, language, and how long a scene went before I started skimming or got bored. This may be why I read so much in 2015. Reading has become an intense study of my art.
So far I’ve learned that I love:
- Stories that don’t meander. Short and Sweet.
- Lots of Action
- Good Tension
- And a little bit of romance
My learning emphasis so far:
I learned how to write to completion and how to implement story structure with scenes, sequences, acts and the accompanying act climaxes.
I built on what I learned in Coal and focused on description, setting, characterization, and tension. I also tried limited editing. I only did 3 drafts before I sent it to an editor for comments. This was hard because I felt like it needed to be perfect before I sent it out. There is no such thing as perfect and editors are there to point out mistakes. I learned that by the third draft, I was blind to them and I most definitely needed another set of eyes. In contrast, Coal had lord knows how many self edits before I sent it to an editor.
My current Work In Progress will be building on everything I’ve learned in my two previous books (plot, structure, tension, setting) and adding more descriptive fight scenes. The action scenes in Coal are short. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I am not completely happy with them. So Chalcedony’s fight scenes will be more intense and more nuanced.
Black Beauty is better than my first book. And Chalcedony will be the best book of them all. I can’t wait until it’s finished. It’ll have a distinct plot, great descriptions and characterization, tension with a little bit of horror, and exciting fight scenes.
I am slowly but surely becoming a master at my craft.