Page one hundred thirty three. That’s what page I was on before I was immersed in the latest novel I’m reading. (See last post: The Middle Beginning for more information.) I finally realized it had nothing to do with getting to know the characters and/or wishing to be in the middle of the story, because at page 133, I’m still not connected with the hero and heroine. I’m immersed in the plot of the book, not the characters.
I know what you are thinking, why didn’t I just put the book down? Unfortunately I couldn’t. It’s a sad, horrible flaw of mine. I once read a 1109-page book that I didn’t like. Why didn’t I put it down? Because I had hope. Maybe it will get better? At chapter thirty-three, I thought maybe this one will be it? At chapter fifty, perhaps this one? It did get better on page 1108 but that was only because I had only one more page to go.
So here’s another award winning author who is a great storyteller, but not a very good writer. How does one become a good story teller? Is it something that can be taught?
Maybe I should ask, what makes a bestseller? Although that’s not what I strive for in my writing. Okay, that’s a lie. I would be ecstatic if my book ever made it on any bestseller list, but my main goal is to sweep the reader away. To immerse them in the story so they forget about cooking dinner. (Sorry kids, it’s pizza tonight.) So they read until three-thirty in the morning even if they have to get up at five for work. I want to give them hope. Give them something to dream about. I want them to learn that everyone deserves love, great love.
In order to do that do I have to be a great story teller, a great writer, or both? And how do I figure out which one I am?