An Exercise in Reading

by Lisa Sledge

Want to grow as a writer? Here’s a study tip.

Go to your book shelf at home and pull down your favorite novel. It should be the one you’ve read fifteen times and keep going back to for highlights. Then open your laptop and bring up a new word document.  Create an outline, with each chapter of the book as a new section heading. Then read.

In your outline, record how the author conveys characterization, where they give hints of foreshadowing, and any main events that move the plot along and create the novel’s pace.

It takes a few days, maybe longer, but it will amaze you how the artist’s craft reveals itself and how much you learn about the creation of a good story.



Filed under Exercises, writing process

2 responses to “An Exercise in Reading

  1. benschwensch

    GREAT idea — I promise: I’m going to try this TONIGHT, after the neighborhood Christmas Dinner/Party is over! (or at least, I’ll START it)

  2. benschwensch

    Several hours later) OK – I did as promised, but I COULD NOT have chosen a harder or more complex book! THIS is going to be REALLY interesting . . . I will no doubt learn a lot!


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