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The thrill of escaping through words

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30th January 2019

In preparation for my writing course in April I'm enjoying reading some of the work by the course tutors.

I love Kindle for this. It allows me to read the sample for free and then make a decision as to whether I should buy the full book.

In each case (there's three tutors) I'm thrilled that the samples for the chosen novels (a novella in one case) have thoroughly captivated me.

What I love about reading is that it allows you to escape so easily. It's hugely comforting to be placed in the hands of a good author and just allow yourself to be taken by their writing. Stories are as old as time. Good stories stay with you. At least, they do me.

Sometimes when I read I read with my writer's hat on. That is to say I'm analysing the prose. The structure, the dialogue, the plot, the tone. It's often hard for me to switch off from this and in some respects I could argue that that may mean I'm reading something that isn't working. Not so the three story samples I enjoyed recently.

In reading I love to feel a strong sense of location. I love to feel that the characters belong to the location even if they are new to it or struggling to adapt. I enjoy a strong sense of conflict, either literally or implied by the behaviour of characters. But more than anything I love to identify what the protagonist of the story wants. It's like a golden thread for me. Something that pulls me through the story and rewards me as the story draws to a close. That's not to say I demand a happy ending. Far from it. Life is rarely so kind. But I do love to see plot points sewn up and dealt with. I like to see the questions asked within the story, answered.

My enthusiasm for reading and writing is enormous just now and it feels so good to be in this place.

Photo of MarkWritten by Mark