Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why should I keep reading? Part II

Hooked yet? Snipped from here.
Life got busy so I've been delinquent on my last couple of posting days but it occurred to me that I should at least follow up on my most recent post, which was about searching for the hook that would captivate me as a reader in the beginning of We Are Water by Wally Lamb.

I have to admit that the book managed to pull me in around the half to two-thirds finished mark. That was when the characters in the front story finally began to move and face situations with potentially devastating consequences--it was definitely too long to wait, but I hung in there because of wanting to read it for my book club.

The other issue this book made me think about is introducing characters who don't pay off. You might recall that I mentioned how the book starts with the hint of a racially motivated murder that happens about 50 or 60 years prior to the front story. The hint of mystery was what I thought I was supposed to keep reading for, but in the end, this historic murder and its implications didn't really have much impact on the front story. I believe it could have been cut out entirely without losing anything truly significant.

Writing is hard, truly hard, because it's difficult to see it from you reader's point of view--especially when you've slaved over a story for weeks, months, years--that's why it really helps to read from a writing point of view as well. It's always good (and humbling) to have a sense of sympathy for your reader and the "work" he or she undertakes to access your story's journey.

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