Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Reader's Trance

Now that I am getting into the descriptive part of my book, I am trying to study other authors’ writing styles to see how they handle introducing descriptions of their characters and the surroundings. However, I find that I cannot just read the words and analyze the writing style. I keep trying to do so, but almost immediately I get caught up in the story and basically trance the f—k out! It is a great ability to have as it makes the story come alive, and it makes reading almost the same as watching tv or movies for me. I am not sure if this is something that happens in my own brain—or more generally the reader’s brain—or if I am an anomaly. Maybe I am an anomaly because of my seeming lack of the ability to choose to just read the words on the page. Or is it just the mark of a good author? I’m not sure. There have been times when I have been reading a book that I know isn’t written as well, I still see it in my head but the picture seems thinner with more holes in it. It’s hard to explain. I still trance out into the story but I have to fill in a lot more from my own imagination.

I love that I have that ability. It happens when I read, when I’m trying to fall asleep, when I am doing some monotonous activity like driving or riding in the car. It especially happens when I am listening to music and driving. That’s often how I create my own stories. Unfortunately, so far I haven’t been able to make it happen while actually writing. My deficit comes in transferring what I see in my head to words on the page that will create similar pictures in the mind of a reader. Sounds complicated, right?

So that is why I wanted to study the way other authors handle description. Not to copy anything or get ideas, but just to see how they create that response in me. What I need to do is read the first book of a new series by an author I know already is able to create that kind of reaction with me, and see how the characterization and world building are handled. Luckily for me, both Larissa Ione and Jacquelyn Frank have started new series. Now I will have to figure out a way to read the words and analyze them instead of trancing out. I may have to reread each chapter before I go on. So my biggest issue will be finding time to read, write, work, run agility, spend time with my neglected husband, and all of the other activities I like to partake in.

Once I get closer to finishing, I will create an author fan page. I am determined to be successful in this because I enjoy making up stories and it’s about time I tried my hand at doing it professionally. This is sort of putting the cart before the horse, but I’m thinking of writing under my maiden name because it is much less common. Plus, if people google Kristen Davis they are just going to get a bunch of stuff about that Sex and the City chick. What do y’all think? Coming soon: Plotting vs. Pantsing, Left Brain vs. Right Brain. Can they work together?

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