Dear Writing Friends,
Are you keeping up with your book reading? If not, now’s the time to order some books for reading over the Easter weekend!
Christian, secular, contemportary, classic – all are good for research.
I read fiction for young people of all ages – I try to find a variety of books for the different age groups, because Dernier publishes books for children from 6+, but I highly recommend that you find books for the age group you are writing for.
If you’d like to read some Christian books, by all means check out www.dernierpublishing.com. (If you’re not in the UK, you can find some of our titles on Amazon worldwide. These include Year 0033, The City Kid, The Dove Stone, Oliver’s Secret and Nobody’s Dog.)
Or visit your local library, bookshop or charity shop… ebooks are equally good – it’s the story that’s important!
You can learn so much from other people’s stories.
Here are some interesting things I learned from my three latest reads:
The first had an excellent first chapter! We were introduced to all the main characters, the setting was exciting (the London Eye) and the mystery was intriguing – by the time you got to the end of chapter one, you had to read on, to find out what was going on. Great stuff!
What I learned: get all that action, intrigue and character engagement right at the beginning, and you’ll hook your readers. You can go back to explain the background later, bit by bit.
The second book was very different. It was by a famous author. Honestly, it wasn’t his best. There were story loops opened that were never closed, and it was more of a meandering story about a dog, with not the best ending ever. So I guess, once you’re famous, publishers will be happy anyway, because your name will sell the book. Hmmm.
What I learned: always do your best. Perhaps nobody challenged the author, because he is famous? Let’s remain teachable!
The third book was the longest of the three, although it was for the same age group. It had some very, very good things… but some things it was a bit long-winded in places.
What I learned: a much deeper professional edit would have honed this to make it a truly brilliant book. The ideas were phenomenal. Top marks for imagination and creativity!
What I learned? Set imagination free! But don’t skimp on editing. A fresh, professional eye can take a great book and make it sooo much better.
I hope that helps you with your own writing.
And now may I wish you a blessed Easter. May the love of our Father and sacrifice of Jesus pierce your hearts afresh, and may the glory and power of the resurrection of fill you with joy.
We have an amazing God, and we have such good news to share.
P.S. Have you learned anything from a book you have read recently? I’d love to hear all about it!