Friday, October 5, 2012

Reading for More than Plot?

Everyone loves to read for the plot. How many times do you hear someone say, “Don’t tell me the ending; you’ll spoil it?” But there is so much more to a story. The more you know what to look for in a story, the more you will get out of it.  And the more you will benefit from your reading experience. Enjoy the plot as you read your free copy of Hags next week, but while you’re at it, look for these other attributes of a good novel:

Theme: A good story has a point to it. In horror stories and other thrillers or fantasy fiction, the theme is often innocence to experience. The movie, Super8, is a good example of an innocence to experience theme. What’s cool about Super8 is the monster also goes through an innocence to experience event, particularly in the backstory.

Interesting Characters: A character has to go through an event or series of events that change his or her life. Learning has to take place. The cool thing about following the main character is you can learn the same thing the character is learning through the character’s experience.

Style: Style is about two things. One is the way the author plays with or uses the language. Style is also about how the author tells a story, the way the plot is put together. For a quick study on style, watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie and then a James Bond movie. Both movies are in the suspense or thriller genre, but with very different styles. Hitchcock stories tend to build slowly with a touch of humor. Bond movies move at a breakneck pace from start to finish. Bond humor is flippant. Hitchcock humor is subtle.  What other differences do you notice?

Pacing: As you move through the story, notice when the story picks up speed or slows down at times. The fast pace emphasizes or highlights the danger and action of the plot. The author slows the pace down to emphasize character and scene.

Consistency with Genre Rules: The genre or type of story you enjoy reading has basic rules. A mystery story is always about a crime that happened either in the past or at the beginning of the story. Otherwise, it’s a thriller if the crimes are still happening. Romance novels always have a happy ending. Otherwise it’s a literary story or love story, but not a romance. The more you know about the genre you enjoy reading, the more you can appreciate how the author plays with the rules to create a unique reading experience.

Get Hagged
Mark your calendar for October 8th through October 12th to download your free Kindle copy of Hags, my new horror novel. And if you just can’t wait, you can download a pre-launch copy right now for only $2.99 by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
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