I’ve lately been reading a story, and while the story is good, and the writing is clean, I feel that the author is telling me a story, instead of me living the story. There’s nothing wrong exactly, but it’s not quite there. I think being told the story and living the story is difference between a good story and a great story, more so than whether the writing is "good".
What do you think? Do you see a difference?
Definitely. If I'm in the story, if my emotions engage and it becomes personal, it's a great story.ReplyDelete
We do need that emotional engagement.Delete
I agree with you 100%. If the author is just telling the story, it doesn't give the reader a chance to get emotionally involved, so we hardly have a reason to care.ReplyDelete
Without the reader caring, the story will never be great.
Absolutely. That's the difference between voice and deep POV. I'm wondering if we're reading the same story because I also feel as if I'm reading and not living it. Which is fine. But there's a huge difference. I love losing myself in the story, so when my hubby calls my name, I'm actually jarred back into the present.ReplyDelete
I love that too.Delete
Well, I've actually had that said about one of my manuscripts. After reading this post and the comments, I know I've got to figure out how to fix it. Thanks, Sara.ReplyDelete
Yea, I've heard that comment too. I think it's something writers always be working on.Delete
Glad I'm not the only one.Delete
I do, because I'm reading one like that myself at the moment! In a way I sort of resent not being one hundred percent in the character's mind, because I feel like the author is holding out truths simply to reveal something at the end. If you're not going to tell all about a character's motives, don't include that character's pov as part of the narration!ReplyDelete
I read one like that. Where the pov character went along and we thought one thing, then later at the climax he told us, oh, yea, I did that and that and so it was really this other way. Surprise. I understand that the author did it for dramatic tension but I felt kind of cheated, like it was a cheap parlor trick.Delete
Wonder if it was the same book? :-)Delete
There's definitely a difference, and I think getting the reader to live the story is that intangible thing we all strive to do. Got any magic tips? :)ReplyDelete
I wish. Intangible is a great word for it.Delete
Telling mostly. I must remind myself as I write my next manuscript to always show when I can.ReplyDelete
I always need to remind myself.Delete
I agree. When we don't feel the emotions of the story, we don't feel apart of it.ReplyDelete
That's a great way of putting it. I sometimes have trouble pinpointing just why a story isn't working, I just know that it isn't.ReplyDelete
It is sometimes hard to pinpoint and often it might be a combination of things.Delete
When you're so deep into a story, in the middle of all the action, that the world around you fades... then you know you're living the story.
That's the best feeling!Delete
I agree as well. If the story reads like a speech and not a story, then I'll fade out and read something else.ReplyDelete
Those stories are easy to put down and forget about.Delete