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Monday, April 9, 2012

The Magic Moment of the Unreal

A while back, in another blog post, I alluded to the moment when a book takes the reader over that imaginary line of what’s real and what we know is not possible and how that’s the magical point, the hook in many cases that makes the book interesting. And not so far back I mentioned I am reading the book Illusion and how I was enjoying it so very much.

As a writer it is of foremost importance to read other peoples work if you desire to grow and improve your skills as a writer. You will get to a point like I realize I have reached that you start analyzing others work as you read it. You study their English and Grammar skills. You study how they handle the so called rules of style which are so harshly judged by certain readers and I have come to realize just as the code among Pirates the rules of Style are more just guidelines to be considered. For what is wrong now may very well be fashionable in a few short years from now.

I read a book recently which was strewn with dialogue and yet didn’t have a quotation mark one in the book! When I find that keyboard for sale I am definitely buying one. I imagine if all writers adopted such an approach they might do away with quotation marks as they are doing with the need to learn to write in cursive. Yet I am straying from the point of my post.

As you read and analyze others work you see how they do what they do? What makes it so interesting? Why do you feel compelled to keep turning the page? It isn’t the skill with grammar or the use of the proper word or words that accomplish this subtle feat or else every English teacher and editor would be a bestselling authors and the authors who need editing wouldn’t be able to sell a single book. More often than not it is the imagination of the author, their ability to convey to you what they are imagining and the way they share the tale with you that hits the bulls eye on this fine target.

In the book of Illusion it steps across the magic line and grabs your attention. As you progress instead of making the problem more plausible and reasonable for your mind, the author jumps over that magic line again and again. Before you know it the character is back flipping, skipping, dancing and I might even add levitating over the line of what is reasonable and understandable. With each pass over this imaginary line the author pulls you in deeper and deeper into the story.

I think about my books and many I have read through the years where there is one step over the line and then the rest of the book trying to deal with the situation. I have started cataloging in my mind styles of relating tales, games with which the author might play in and through a story while relating their tale to the reader. With each book I write and as my skill grows I will attempt my own creative versions of each of these in the future. The fun is that it allows for multiple levels of fun and enjoyment depending upon the level of your reader’s attention and depth of knowledge. Kind of like the old Coyote and Road Runner cartoons of my days of old, there was lappy stuff the children could enjoy and advanced humor for those who understood how they were messing up the Latin classifications of the species when they would pause and introduce them.

Personal note: Wiley E. Coyote was and still is my favorite cartoon character. He never ever gave up trying to catch the Road Runner no matter how many times he crashed and burned. There was always a new idea! Something else to try! He may have been the hungriest coyote in history but he was certainly creative! In my first Novel “Whisper”, Wiley Randolph got his first name from Wiley the Coyote, my hero! The ultimate example of persistence!

Just to think they thought those cartoons were too violent and wasting our young brains away. I wish my children had as good of stuff to watch while goofing off and being children.

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