I love books… I read masses of them. And I mean MASSES. Maybe it’s because I didn’t learn to read until I was 11. But whatever the reason I devour them. One I have been reading was a romance. Now, I don’t read a lot of them for the simple reason that the writers are the most likely to forget to breathe. But this book started well. A beautiful millionaire and a size sixteen beaten girl who didn’t think herself worthy. He tricks her into becoming his and she tries to hide the fact that she is in love with him as it is a marriage of convenience.
See – it has all the ideas of a good book. Throw in the waspish mother who keeps telling her daughter she is fat and the boy friend who is gay and suddenly you have twists and turns. And I’m reading faster and faster and thinking ‘yes, a good book.’
He traps her in the house declares undying love and… nothing. Roll credits.
What about the mother?
What about the gay friend?
What about the jealousy, the trust issues, the twists, the plot?
All gone. It was as if the writer was trying to finish as fast as they could. It can’t have been a word count issue. Instead I think it was a breathing issue.
So to all writers out there, and myself, I say – BREATHE ALREADY!
Write a scene and then make sure that it says everything that it needs to. Don’t rush it. I know that sometimes pressures mean that you have to write fast. But take as much time as you can. Be economical but not so much that characters you have created are left drifting in a limbo of broken stories.
I know it is tricky – I’ve done it myself. So when I feel my fingers flying over the keypad I stop and breathe. I think and then I carry on. Or I stop and plan out that chapter. And then I make sure that it includes everything it needs.
So please, as a reader, could everyone slow down and breathe. Because if you do the book will be ten times better. And your readers, including me, will love it more.