On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Readers -- Final Image in Book

I was talking with my mentor about a book I'd read, and as usual, I knew there was something about it that bothered me, I had an idea what it was, then as I spoke I figured it out.

It was the final image of the book.

The book was a romantic suspense and had a soulless villain, just ewww. And a ravening monster. Well, it didn't take much to know that the ravening monster would eventually eat the soulless villain, and with great gore and mastication.

So, the adventure is wrapped up. The love story is wrapped up. And the last thing we see is the soulless villain losing blood and dying and the monster coming his way.


I didn't even hate this guy so much that this was a cathartic release, a "YAY monster eats villain!!!"

And having a gory image in my head was a real downer for me.

So, be aware, as I will be in my future books, of the LAST image your reader will see in his/her mind's eye.

And this, I believe, goes for the FIRST image, too.

Ok, this advice may be simple, and something you already know. I might have known it once and forgotten, but with this bad example in front of me, I was certainly reminded.

May you provide excellent images for your readers today.


Anonymous A reader said...

Right on! Read some books by Literay writer & master of the English language (Ian McEwan), recomended to me by friends & critics, but all the "art" only gives depressing thoughts and nightmares. Should have followed my own rules of not reading this kind of book; wonderful grammar, flowing prose... etc., but this does not help to make the depressing and/or sadistic plots any easier to tolerate.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Yes, reader. I write to provide entertainment and escape and don't see anything wrong with that. Occasionally I have time to really work on my prose and craft a lyrical paragraph or two. But the subject matter is important to me. I, too, want to escape.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Jeri said...

I've only read one book by Ian McEwan (Saturday), and it had a very uplifting ending. I wasn't expecting it, and was impressed with how he pulled it off without sentimentality. I also remember that book had a wonderful love scene involving a long-married couple.

I don't think entertainment and art have to be opposites. Ideally any creative work should be both. But Robin, you use the important phrase "have time to". I don't think literary authors have the same killer deadlines commercial authors do. I think they turn in the books when they're good and finished. I could be wrong about that, though.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous a reader said...

Jeri, please....which one? Chesil Beach on the British charts now is rather sad. You might have found the only cheerful one!! and good to get at the Library.
Rather get good entertainment!!!!!

8:13 AM  
Blogger Jeri said...

SATURDAY is the name of the novel. It all takes place on one day, a rather exciting day (in good and bad ways) for the main character, a neurosurgeon. He uses the anti-war protest in London as a backdrop, but it's not really about the war at all. It's just there for thematic resonance, plus the resulting traffic jam causes him to make a life-changing detour. Danger ensues. I was surprised at how "commercial" the plot was.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks for the info, Jeri. And yes, writing slower means you can craft more.


5:30 AM  

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