Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Many years ago I took a writing class at the local community junior college. The title of the class was How to Write a Romance. That class started me on this wonderful journey. when I stepped in to that class some sixteen years ago, I had only a love of books and a basic knowledge of English. Oh, don't get me wrong, I did well in elementary and high school, I just didn't retain anything I learned. I still have trouble with grammar, but have slowly learned where to put a comma and what a fragment sentence is (which by the way I use frequently). But there is so much more to writing fiction than knowing how to put a sentence together. Story structure, plot and character development are crucial. There are so many great references, books, workshops and speakers that I could spend all day directing you to, but for me the biggest help in learning how to tell a story was by reading. Reading everything I could get my hands, in all different genres and by as many varied authors as possible. I would study each book, looking for the elements that made the story compelling. I still read voriciously and study the books, noting what works and what doesn't. I read many different types of books from romance, romantic suspense, sci-fi, horror, crime dramas, thrillers, inspirationals, paranormal and mysteries. I read from all the different categories of Harlequin books. Right now I have three books going. I always keep on in my car, LONG LOST by Harlan Coben. I keep one on my bedside table, THE MERCEDES COFFIN by Faye Kellerman and I keep a book in the living room, TO THE EDGE by Cindy Gerard. As I finish one, I trade it out for something else. I have a to be read pile that fills three full shelves in my office bookcase. The reason I titled this post Writing 101, is to be a good writer, you must be a well read reader!
"I cannot live without books." Thomas Jefferson