Hey all! Happy day! I’m so excited to introduce to you (and you to) Chris Graham aka The Story Reading Ape as a guest on the blog. Chris is a super supporter of authors and if you haven’t you’d do well to swing over and follow his blog. Chris offers so many free services to authors as well as helping with book design. He’s encouraging and helpful, scowering the world of blogs for worthwhile information to share too. I appreciate his hard work and his dedication, not to mention his insights. And today he’s here to answer some questions and offer some helpful advice.
Thanks for coming over Chris!
Chris Graham, Guest to the blog:
My thanks to Rachael for her kind offer to post an article from me – also for the challenge she set me for the topic:
- From a reader standpoint, offer some advice, maybe something you’ve learned from all your reading experience, about what works and what doesn’t for grabbing reader’s attention, specifically in sci-fi and fantasy books.
- Another thing I’d be interested in knowing is about your favourite book.
- What about that book has brought you back to its pages over and over?
Bearing in mind that I’m not a writer of anything apart from the occasional blog post, I don’t feel I have any authority to give advice about writing, apart from my two pet peeves and biggest disruptors of reading enjoyment:
Pay Attention to Spelling!
Note, I do NOT mean the spelling differences between British / American / or any other english language variations.
We should all know by now, especially in this age of the Internet, that spelling differences between English language nations is a fact, therefore, if we leave a review comment criticising an author because their spelling is different from ours, we merely demonstrate our ignorance (in the unknowing sense, not the rude sense) and lack of tolerance.
I mean the differences in spelling between words that SOUND the same, but have entirely different meanings; like grate and great, bear and bare, here and hear, sight and site (the most common error I’ve found), etc.
Check the flow of the story!
Sentences should flow smoothly enough to allow the reader’s own imagination to enter the world within the story and go with that flow to produce a ‘mind movie’.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find any hesitation or break in that flow causes my mind movie to falter and my attention to wander off track and quickly become lost (Oh look – a BIRD 😀 )
New chapters are probably the best way to change points of view, or insert divergences from the main storyline, as in a backstory detail / explanation for example. But keep these to a minimum, both in frequency and length.
If a story is read aloud and listened to, most disruptions to the story flow become readily apparent and can be marked for correction.
Although I have many favourite books, series and authors, the older I get, the less likely it is that I’ll return and re-read them, unless they contain facts / information I might need to refresh my mind about, or, I get a sudden, unexplainable yearning to re-read a particular story or series.
Mainly, I want to read new stories and discover new authors.
What works to grab my attention to any book?
It should come as no surprise that when faced with shelves full of potential reads, the cover and title will catch my attention first, with the blurb sealing the deal – especially if it’s by an author whose works I’ve not read before.
If anyone would like to discover and learn about new authors (and their books), click HERE to find over 500 of them I’ve had as guests on my blog to date.
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Chris Graham aka The Story Reading Ape (TSRA)