Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nicholas Sparks My Curiosity.

In the latest issue of Writer’s Digest, they interviewed Nicholas Sparks, the author of The Notebook which I’ve never read or watched. (Chick flick!) The interview did pique my interest and I checked out his website. He built a whole section dedicated to providing information to aspiring authors, as well as detailing how he got into the business. He talks about writing, publishing, finding an agent and other thing.

One of the things he wrote has me thinking about taking my reading a little more seriously. He recommends taking books and dissecting them as you read them. Paying attention to how the author successfully or unsuccessfully weaves plot, characterization, tension, and other literary devices into the novels.

I think that’s what I’m lacking with my lack of formal education is the ability to reverse engineer a book into it’s parts, the ability to see how the author put the book together so that I can come in afterward and learn what I can from it. I guess I could sit down and dissect a book repeatedly but at this point I just wish I could read more than I currently am doing. I would love to choose one book per month maybe and do a detailed analysis of it.

That being said, I might be dramatizing my lack of education a little bit. Despite not having a formal education, I still have a somewhat analytical mind and I think I’m certainly able to take things apart and find their parts

I know when I read Name of the Wind I found myself sub-consciously paying attention to how he told his story. A couple times through the reading I stopped to jot down a note about some phrase or word choice he used so I can research it further. I know I have a long way to go and I guess that is where the bulk of my frustration stems from. I’m not as smart both with reading and writing as I would like to be.

Sparks reads over 100 books per year and has been doing that since he was 15 years old. I used to do that in high school, and I’ve gotten back into my voracious reading schedule over the last couple years, but there is a break in there of about 14 years where I really only read technical manuals and a few fantasy books per year. I lost touch with my writer-reader self and let myself get swept up in other pursuits.

I know I have the ability, and I know I can gain the knowledge with time, it’s just frustrating knowing that I could have been nurturing that knowledge since I was 15, instead of starting when I was 34.

No comments:

Post a Comment