Category: STORY

How to Read like a Writer

Part One: Story Analysis | Part Two: Structural Analysis | Part Three: Style Analysis 2010 © by Robert J Ray and Jack Remick The Opening: Readers read for entertainment. Writers read for structure. Entertainment-structure, the great divide in the writing world. Readers get caught up in the romance, the mystery, the memory, the characters of what they’re reading. They give up—the famous ‘suspension of disbelief’—something in order to be entertained.  Readers glide over the words looking for drama and memorable characters, something to talk about with other readers in a book club. Writers look for structure. Writers want to know how the author put this piece together. Take an example from music, take Mozart. Mozart? Music? What does music have to do with writing? You can listen to Mozart in concert or on a CD and walk away feeling good because his music touches you. The composer, however, listens at a different level. The question becomes: ‘How did he do that?’ And the composer buys a copy of the sheet music, takes it to the piano, and analyzes it. The composer discovers that under the surface simplicity of the notes there is a vast structural complexity at work—Themes, variations, fugues, modulations—and each of those musical elements has a parallel in writing. To make the shift from Reader to Writer, we suggest that you make three levels of analysis on your novel...

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Saying Good-bye to a Character

November 23, 2010 This came in from Mindy Halleck, novelist, travel-writer, blogger. Recently, I had an epiphany about my writing. We writers create with our subconscious minds. It has taken me ten years to finish my novel, There Once Were Warriors – this last decade I have had cancer three times. I needed healing – I unconsciously created a healer. Until time came to kill one of the main characters in my novel, Solomon, I hadn’t realized what he meant to me. During my decade of dealing with cancer, I had, in him, created a spiritual healer. He doled out spiritual advice, tonics, oils and wisdoms to all the other characters that populate my novel. I simply hadn’t realized that subconsciously he meant healing to me. The thing I needed the most. Saying goodbye to him on page 360-something launched me into a painful few days of crying, mourning, watching comfort movies and eating popcorn to fill the void, numb the pain. Solomon walked that cancer journey with me, healing me. In the novel I gave him three arrows; a spiritual trinity to be launched into the heart of my deadly illness (the monster in my book) and let it die with him. I now realize it was all a metaphor for my disease. Taking a good long look at the truth behind our fiction characters and trying to...

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©2010-2017 Jack Remick, Robert J. Ray. All rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including text and images, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Short excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray and "Bob and Jacks Writing Blog" with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.