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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Slower Books

A large part of honing my craft as a storyteller is talking with readers and listening to what they have to say.  Last week a group of readers were discussing their latest reads and giving feedback as to what they liked and didn’t like about the books they were currently reading or have recently finished.  This is a perfect place to mention that none of them where discussing my two books or my writing.  I can’t wait until I get some candid live feedback from readers who have actually read my books.  Anyway.

Somebody mentioned something about the Fiction Action Adventure Genre, of which I am a big fan of and kind of place my books into that category, so it piqued my interest.  They said it seems as if the authors are speeding things up and making the books too intense in efforts to make their books better than the previous ones.  When I heard this I remembered how I had described one of my favorite authors, not long ago, about how you hadn’t fully ingested the current catastrophe before they characters were thrown into the next disaster.

What the readers had discussed amongst themselves was they wished the authors would slow the stories down and let them enjoy the suspense before bombarding them again with something new.  As I considered this I realized the truth in their words.  I don’t mind reading some buildup or reaction and regrouping of the characters for a slower book as long as the story is still good.  Each successive book doesn’t need to be over the top better than the last book only fresh and original.  It goes back to the take me somewhere I haven’t been before.  Throw in a twist or turn through the book – not two or three in every chapter!   The way the readers actually described it was, “Let us catch our breath before the next climatic situation.”
I feel where authors lose their touch is when the books become predictable, or you can blatantly see a pattern between the last three or four books like the author is working off of the same outline for each story just the action is in a different place.  The characters do the same things over and over again, no growth or maturing of the characters.
I started this blog to chronicle my writing adventures, discoveries, and share what I learn along the way for the other aspiring Indie Authors out there to frequently check in and make notes on pertinent information to hopefully help them along their journey.  I hope that slowly over time my posts accomplish that mission.  Again over time I plan to change the focus to more of an exchange between myself and my ever growing following of readers.  That’s hard to do at this point with only two books available.
I also know that the sequel to “Whisper” is finished, as far as a rough draft, and at the editors getting cleared of my horrid English and many bad habits.  Also I know my fourth book, the sequel to “No Rules Of Engagement,” has already been said to have surpassed the first book by chapter 10 (From one of my Beta Readers).  I am at chapter 19 of that book with not much farther to go before it heads to the editors.  So I am very excited as I know there will be twice as much to talk concerning my books before Christmas gets here.

So in summary the advice of the day is to slow it down and let the reader enjoy and relish in your work.  Don’t force them on a non-stop roller coaster of action as it may be exhausting for them to read instead of a relaxing exciting adventure.  If you want to “Wow” your readers do it with finesse, a good plot, and how you tell the story.  More or non-stop action doesn’t always translate to a better story.  I don’t want readers feeling like they just finished a marathon as they finished my books.  I do want them to feel a need to get the next one in the series to find out what happens.  I want them to feel that welcome back feeling as they reconnect with the characters from the previous books.
Class Dismissed, get back to work on your novel.

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