I liked my “three of swords/scrap metal” post (for my own self-improvement reasons) so I’m going to try to do this sort of thing periodically. When I read a few good books, I’ll record what I learned from them. This week, I read two books I really liked!
First, Hot Head by Damon Suede. This was a nice romance, with very sexy (if a little larger than life) firefighters. What I loved about this book was the fact that there was no major villain, or crazy plot twist, or unbelievable circumstance. It was just a love story. Okay, maybe the porn site thing was a bit far-fetched, but not totally crazy, and nothing major happened to the characters. It was just a long story about how Griff comes to terms with his attraction to his best friend and finds a way to express his feelings. More like a character study than a plot-driven story. And you know what?… I liked that! It was nice to have no big-bad to worry about, no impossible situation, no mystery.
I sort of have one story with this type of plot, but it’s not even a third as long as this book. So another thing I learned from this one is: Long books are nice sometimes. It gives you time to learn the characters, to love them, to get lost in their world. I absolutely need to work on lengthening my writing. This book was, at one point almost too descriptive for me, too wordy… but I kept going and I ended up liking it a lot.
Lastly, I liked this author’s voice. It was distinctive. There were some phrases he repeated a lot, some little verbal tics that I noticed. First I thought they were odd, but by the end of the book they were adorable. It may have been to emulate the character’s voice (even though it’s in third person), or it might be just the way he really talks, but I’ve never read anything else he’s done so I’m not sure yet. Either way, the author’s voice held my interest. I should remember that my voice does not need to be edited down to sound like everyone else’s.
Second book- Fair Game by Josh Lanyon. Another really great read! I picked this up because I’m a self-proclaimed Abigail Roux minion, and many people suggested Lanyon as a similar author. His writing and subject were indeed similar to Abi’s, and I loved him immediately. This book was all about the action and the mystery of the plot line. Elliot and Tucker do get together and find love, but the drama surrounding them is the primary story. For me, however, the romance was more interesting, and having to sort out the mystery while hoping the characters get together kept me up all night turning pages. So I learned that, for me, layering romance in a mystery makes it more satisfying. I should try to make my stories more intricate, and hopefully more interesting to the reader.
I think both of these books taught me that I should slow down in my writing. Be more self-critical along the way. Take more time to develop story and character, and not rush through the writing process to get to the happily ever after.