A novel impression – unsung heroes v familiar friends and foes

Have you ever thought of the people who never experience the accolade they deserve for their contribution. Last week we focussed on Steve Jobs, remembering his greatness rather than the technology he created.

When you listen to a wonderful  rendition of Mozart, Bach or Beethoven do you ever think of the individual violinist or percussionist?

When you watch a  drama or documentary on the TV do you ever sing the praises of the director or each bit part actor?

When you visit Wiseley or any other famous garden do you ever think of the person who does the weeding?

An author, on the other hand leads you from general truths and events to minute details of individual lives. A successful writer will know how to draw on the reader’s empathy and involvement until the dividing line between the reader’s reality and that of the fictional characters begins to blur at the edges.  The reader needs to understand intimately all of the key players as the drama unfolds.

When a wonderful piece of music comes to an end you are often left with an impression; an echoing but lasting memory of  the experience, but when you come to the end of an excellent novel,  do you ever feel you’ve just said goodbye to a dear friend or a close family member? Do you sometimes feel at a loss for a day or two; almost bereft?

How do we achieve this as an author? How do we leave our readers looking forward to more?

  • Innate ability?
  • Ever learning more about the craft of writing?
  • Forethought and careful planning?

Probably all three!

Tools a writer uses:

  • Sticking to a successful format that readers become familiar with (Agatha Christie)
  • Using a main character or characters within different story lines
  • Writing a series – sequel, prequel..
  • Using the same setting – location for a several stories
  • Setting several novels in the same time period

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Filed under Planning a novel, Reading a novel, Writing, Writing a novel

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