Sunday, May 15, 2011
Enticing Readership with Skill
What makes one book more compelling than another? I’m sure a variety of answers come to mind, though individual tastes might have something to do with what you deem as top-rate. Admit it. Some writers are much better at writing than others. Publishing trends lead us by the neck and tell us which authors to read—which writers are better than others—and they may know from experience some of what they are talking about. But just because they lead you to the trough, doesn’t mean you have to drink. How many books an author sells isn’t always an indication of his writing skill. That’s why I shout praises when I get hold of a book that zaps me with its magic. I want to analyze every part, discover every component that makes the world pop out at me like the action in a 3-D movie.
Take The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton—this exceptional book I was telling you about. Over and over again, the author surprised me with how she transformed an ordinary sentence into fresh, living imagery. Her words sucked me into each scene, had me living the characters lives vicariously as they searched for understanding. And she didn’t have to use the lurid tactics of the majority of those who call themselves writers today, either. I’m tired of searching for an author who can tell a story, one who makes us better after reading their work. Such talent is lacking in today’s entertainment.
So what’s my point? I think I’m ruined for life. I won’t find satisfaction until I can find another skilled writer like Kate Morton who can enthrall me with their clean, precise, and magical words. A reader shouldn’t have to strain to envision what they’re reading or wade through a clutter of nonsense, and a writer should use their skill, not sensationalism and smut, to entice readership.
Bravo, Kate Morton. You have me hooked. I hope my followers will feel the same.