That one still doesn’t come as naturally to me as I would like to. I know about it, even begin doing it, and then, usually find myself swept away by story. I loose myself in it, and I LIKE that.
Thing is, once I close the book, I haven’t learned as much about writing as I would have, if I’d had my writer’s hat on. Jacqueline Woodson once said, at a SCBWI conference, that we should read the books we like at least twice, once to know the story, and then, to study the way it was written. But with the pile of books that never goes down (how could it, new ones keep replacing the ones I just finished reading) it’s hard to read a book again !
As serendipity would have it, I’ve been thinking along these lines for a few days, and today, I read this post on Teaching Authors and here is someone reminding me, yet again, to do precisely what I know I need to do…
Plot is one area of weakness for me. I tend to loose myself in the characters. All of them. I write, and write, and write journals, thoughts, I over-analyze them and their reactions, where they come from, where they go, and why, and how, and all the while, I seem to run around in circles, rather than moving forward with the story.
The last two books I read were North of Beautiful, by Justina Chen Headley, and Many Stones, by Carolyn Coman.
So, now that I’ve read the stories, I’ll go back, read them again with notepad and highlighting markers, and try and see how they move their plot forward, then write a small essay, maybe here, discussing what I learned, and including examples I highlighted and noted in the text.
Now where did I put my writer’s hat?