Sunday, May 22, 2016

Chapter after Chapter by Heather Sellers

This is one of the books I'm giving away this month. It is fast becoming a favorite and will be hard to part with. So you know what I do when that happens? Buy another copy of course!

Instead of outlining this book and telling you all about the goodies inside, I'm going to focus on chapter four. Why? Because this is an area I struggle with and am really excited about learning how to do this and maybe just adding my take on it too.

So what is Chapter Four? The Book 100. In other words,  read 100 books, which I have already done thank you very much. Ahh but I didn't read them as a writer! I got so wrapped up in the book I forgot to study it. So the book 100 is making note cards of books you chose to use as mentor texts (another thing I'm learning and will feature more in a later blog so stay tuned.)
Read books of the genre you write. What did they do well? Was there great dialogue? Did they do suspense in a dramatic way, building up to a climax?
How did the book start? Chapter endings leave you not wanting to put the book down?

 Heather suggests you keep this information you mined on note cards and have this information on them for quick referral:

Title of book:
Book in a sentence [just to remember it]:
Book in a paragraph [pretend it's your book and you're explaining it to an agent who has just asked you, "What's your book about?"]: ( I find this a great way to prep for pitching. It's so much easier form me to tell you about someone else's book than mine.)
Best thing about this book: (Here is where I'm putting in my 2 cents worth. I'm playing around with color coding the index cards for things like plot, character, dialogue. You get the drift? So if I'm beating my brains trying to remember which book that has good example of dialogue, or the mystery that built suspense to a sitting on the edge of my chair to see what happens next, I can just look for the color in my box).
List of memorable, useful techniques [like (I'm inserting my own version here) transitions; page 67"; good dialogue between children,  page 8"):

Leave a comment to books you have used as mentor texts.

Hope this helps and don't forget to register for a chance to win this book. USA residents only.
See you next week.


Joyce Lansky said...

Al Capone Does my Shirts was a good mentor text for me. I like the way the author included a lot of description and action within the dialogue.

Sheila Renfro said...

I remember that book! I also remember the great description of the boys sister.
Thank you for sharing that Joyce, I'm going to add that to my note cards.

Linda Carpenter said...

Good suggest - looks of reading, now need to start an index file on each with notes! Yikes - does that mean I have to go back and re-read years of books?

Sheila Renfro said...

That!'s what I was thinking Linda. Lol, but only if they have a technique I want to master. I'm sure reading books with more observation.

Patricia Weaver said...

you know my opinion of slow books... put them down.. I did finish Al Copone does my shirt but skimmed a good bit. the first Percy Jackson book I inhaled but to me they got too repeative the next ones.... I don't like to learn things I've already know.