When something interests me, I live it, I dream it, I Google it, I surround myself with books about it. Among my multitude of current interests is about how to write captivating fiction. Another interest is ruby on rails, but that deserves another ultra nerdy post.
I got my hands on different books about how to write fiction. I can easily produce a short mediocre fictional story, but it is different when an expert helps you deconstruct a story and guides you into building a better one. Imagine visiting a museum with masterpieces hanging on the walls. You can appreciate the Artist's skills and mastery, but with an art expert or guide by your side, the history of the painting, what the artist felt at the time, what the use of colors mean, why are the brush strokes bold or scattered, all the little nuances that affect you subliminally, when appreciating art, are revealed.
I just finished reading the first few pages of "How to Write Killer Fiction" by Carolyn Wheat and already I began noticing things about fiction books and movies I have seen.
One of the things mentioned is that the protagonist is seldom a Superman; he is always imperfect with bad flaws and major weaknesses and even worse off than everyone around him. He has big problems, and is thrown in a situation where he needs to overcome his problems and solve the mystery at the same time. You end up rooting for the hero, wanting this miserable underdog to succeed, clenching your teeth when he goes into a potential fatal situation known to you but unknown to him and cheering for him when he manages to escape from the jaws of death and solving the mystery in one fell swoop.
I will sign off with the first lines of Carolyn's book:
THE BEST ADVICE on writing I've ever seen came from a fictional character. Seymour Glass, J.D. Salinger's cryptic antihero, tells his brother, Buddy, an aspiring writer: "You think of the book you'd most like to be reading, and then you site down and shamelessly write it."