More than once I’ve heard the phrase “read what you write” and have quickly dismissed it with the thought, “I don’t have time to read, I’m writing.” Well, that’s only partly true. I’m too busy working and being a father to 5 kids and a husband in good graces with his wife (most of the time). The first several times I heard it, I was in school also. Circumstances have changed and now my commute is 25 minutes on a train to and from work. Sleeping works in the morning but the afternoon, not so much. I finally decided to read some of the books we have that my daughter likes. She is my target audience so I figured I might actually (don’t die of shock) read what I write. That means read other writer’s books that also are for your demographic. I took a couple of months and read all of the Percy Jackson books and then moved on to the Egypt series by Rick Riordan. Fun stories.
After all of that reading, I came back to “Kyle By Fire” because I had few places I realized could use a little help. Then I skipped up several dozen pages and started reading there. One thing I realized is how much more detail I could include. Even when pressed for time and seconds are ticking away from precious minutes, Riordan includes details. His characters have internal monologues and thoughts. They notice things around them. Brilliant! As I’ve gone through my novel I found so many places where I left bland description like “expensive clothes”. Really? Who gets a good mental image from that? I felt ashamed after all of this time that still existed. But then I also realized most of my editing has been front to back, beginning to end. Jumping into the middle and going from there has opened my eyes. My characters are starting to notice details, have thoughts, even when time is of the essence. The mind works fast. Ever wake up, go back to sleep, have a really complex dream and wake up only 5 minutes later? We have hundreds of thoughts that go through our minds all of the time that we just don’t focus on. The breeze, the glare of the lights, the inflection in someone’s voice. So I’m going back and adding color to my book in anticipation of my first formal review by a regular book reviewer. Yes, I’m very nervous. But off to the races I go!
This is the Novel Mage saying, *POOF*