Monday, October 13, 2014

Definition of a Page-Turner Book

I’m writing this post because I am hungering for a true page-turner. A book I can curl up with and can’t put down, which wouldn't it be, on Columbus Day I would make this discovery.

Finally! After all this time I now realize why it is so difficult to distinguish what sets page-turners apart from unquestionably great books.

There are five distinctive characteristics ALL page-turners I’ve read share. Hostage by Laurie Davies, Gift of a Lifetime by Sue Batton Leonard, Farewell, My Beijing by Chi Newman, Doing Germany by Agnieszka Paletta, I Didn't Ask to Be Born by Bill Cosby, The Big Belch by Kay Wood… just to call out a few… each share the following qualities.

1. Book Length. Shorter stories generally are easier to stay with. It’s the same as if someone walked up to you and said, “guess what,” and then proceeded to tell you a short gripping and or humorous story. Most of us would likely stay with the story, hanging on the storyteller's every word. On the other hand, if the narrator goes on and on, even if the story is the same gripping and or humorous, at some point you’ll need to take a bookmark break.

2. Small Books (dimension-wise that is) also have an advantage. They are aesthetically easier to curl up with.

3. Engaging Dialogue. Not much beats reading a good conversation. It’s like overhearing a big juicy piece of gossip. It’s hard to bookmark this type gossip.

Rather than call it great writing, I’ll call it 4. Likable Writing, since both are subjective. Likeable writing is writing that appeals to us, much like anything else; a lyrical voice that resonates, a scrumptious tasty meal, a delectable piece of eye-candy, the soft aromatic scent of a perfume, or a sensual touch that feels different depending on the hand.

5. An Outstanding Premise. Generally determining whether the premise is outstanding, or otherwise, doesn’t happen until the last page… the point where if all of the above has been met, then this book qualifies for the true page-turner badge of honor. (Wink...wink... check out those titles too. Welcoming titles that invite interest are almost always page-turners).

To be fair, not all of my books are page-turners. And to be fairer, since I share openly and frequently about the writings of others as if I’m ignoring my own, I put my published work to the test as well.

Assigning each of my books points relative to the prerequisites I discovered created the graph below.

Now that has to be a fair tribute for acknowledging Columbus Day!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Quoting the Greats!

This post was inspired by a quote I caught the other day on LinkedIn. “The Cream Shall Rise to the Top” my now latest favorite quote.

That phrase has been tangled up in my spirit, ruminating in my mind, resonating deep in my heart and wreathing above my head like a dancing halo vying to keep me looking up.

One thought led to the next, and the next thing I know, I’m thinking it would be a great idea to update my blog with great quotes; all those quotes that come to me without having to go anywhere searching and digging them up.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Movies Show * Books Tell

You've heard that phrase, 'don’t tell, show,' as in don't tell the story, but show the story.

Of course you have. I know you have, because if I heard it, I know everyone has heard it. I'm just like the rest... when I first heard the snazzy line, I was hooked on the rhyme of the words too... like something I'd caption in one of my stories over and over to death. Instantly I bought into the inanity of the colloquialism; in full sight of everything I was reading and hearing, persisting on telling me a story.

Friday, October 3, 2014

BIG WORDS: Picking the Tome, Making the Time

The very first book I read, or tried to read, was The Red Pony by John Steinbeck. Don’t know if I finished the book given how every other word I was asking my mother what did this word and that word mean.

“Look it up,” she kept repeating, which excavating the words trolling over the tip of my tongue...words my mother would have twisted and pinched off my lips had I let them go, had me instead grumbling, “there was no point in reading a book if I had to keep looking up every other word!”

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Backstory: From Copulation to Birthing Novels

I passed 10 stories this morning on my trip to the pharmacy and back home. It proves that while ideas come a dime a dozen, the ART of storytelling doesn't...

Rushing out of the house at five of, ticked because I hadn’t done what I was supposed to have done the day before, my fault, I hopped in the car, pulled away from the curb and right there caught two people I’d never seen before standing by a mailbox, one holding a cup of something steamy, both talking. First thing I thought was... gossip. And the next thing I saw was this long drawn out who did what, when, where and why—story #1. Drama.