I figured out something today. I have for years taken apart books that I like– highlighting adverbs, or description in different colors, trying to figure out how the authors made the magic. No detail was too small from setting to description as I sought to figure out how certain writers can make me so engrossed that I don’t want to finish their books.
But I was talking to my husband about a series I dislike when I realized I have never done the opposite. I have never taken apart a book I hate. On this particular series, I know that I don’t have any attachment to the characters. I don’t dislike them. I just don’t care.
So, maybe it is time to get out the highlighters and underline the phrases and paragraphs that set my teeth on edge. Or at least take apart description, and dialog and figure out why I am not engaged. It’s got to be a help for my own writing.
I don’t know that it will make me write a classic, but maybe it will help me avoid what I consider to be some of this author’s mistakes.