Favorite Books

Whenever someone asks me which book is my favorite, I have to honestly say that I love all kinds of books. I read constantly. Usually I am reading two books at the same time. And I read across genres.

What about your character? What does she like to read? What is it about her preferred genre that she enjoys?

Your task is to generate a list of at least five different things that your protagonist reads. Include a variety of materials, including papers and magazines.

Once you have established the list, narrow it down to the two that you feel could be influential in a story.

Put things in motion. Perhaps she is in the library reading her favorite periodical. How does she react? What feelings run through her head? What happens when someone walks up and interrupts her reading?

Write the story. When you finish, reread for details. Make sure that something compelling happens.

Have fun with this one.

Setting Aside Time to Write

I’ve read countless times about how important it is to set aside time, every single day, to write. Some advocate writing in the morning before work. Others say as soon as you get home from work. And then there are those who write after the kids go to bed.

This is a particular problem for me. I think about writing every day, topics rolling around in my head, being rewritten several times over before finally committing to paper.

Considering that I’m retired, you’d think I’d have whole days before me, but that’s not true. I’m busier now than I was when I worked!

So what works for you? Are you a morning person? Do you get up extra early, turn on the computer and type away? Or can you only squeeze in time once dinner is over and the dishes put away?

I do think it is important to read every day in your genre and to think about story as you read. To analyze story beginnings, middles and ends. To examine how characters are introduced and developed. To look at major plot points, how story surges forward and then falls back.

Have you done this? If not, this is your task for the week.

Pick up a book you’ve been dying to read. From the first word on the first page, think critically. If it will help, take notes. What happens on page one? Ten? Twenty?

How does the author end each chapter? Begin the next? How do the characters interact? What kinds of things do they do together? Apart? When they are together, who is dominant and how does that impact their relationship?

For example, who decides where they go for dinner, what movie to see, which party to attend?

So, your work for the week is to read and take note, thinking all the while how this will impact your own writing.

Have fun with this one.