I read somewhere that you could learn a lot about writing from typing or handwriting the first three chapters of a published book. So, I’ve picked up three recent paperbooks at the used book store around the corner, and I began the exercise yesterday.
I’ve only completed the first three chapters of the first book, but I can already tell you that what I learned was well worth the time. This author has over thirty books listed.
First of all, when I ran the reading ease check, the language level was only five, and her passive sentences ran 29%. None of her sentences sparkled like jewels; not one paragraph made me stop and pause and hold the book to my bossom sighing. But what DID happen is this: I caught myself several times pausing in my typing to read what happened next. (I typed without reading the book because I wanted a clean experiment.)
So, I realized once again: It’s the story, stupid!
I sometimes get so frozen over particular word choices and the exact shade of something that I can’t move forward. This author tells a wonderful story, and lures you in with the tale. Her descriptions aren’t all that spectacular, but she baits you with energy and forward motion.
I’m going to do the other two books today and tomorrow. But I have a feeling I’ve discovered something that’s going to be very helpful to me over the long haul. I highly recommend this experience. 🙂 Riv