I have not laid eyes on my WIP in weeks, maybe months. Instead I've been spending my writing time reading. The other day I finished the fantastic "State of Wonder" by Ann Patchett. Boy, did I love this book. I hope I can bring to my new book what I found in her novel including:
1. Humor - I giggled out loud multiple times while reading this. There are such hilarious interactions between characters that I reread sections over and over to study the humor. Like a good joke, the book managed to create anticipatory humor as well. There was build up, build up, and more build up and then bam! A perfect punch line.
2. Plot Points - Patchett did a meticulous job in plotting out her story. There were twists and turns, surprises, revelations, one after the other that really kept me turning the pages.
3. Characterization - Dr. Annick Swenson, the protagonist's mentor/antagonist/etc. was so real and scary and intimidating to me as a reader. Whenever she appeared in scenes I found myself tensing, holding my breath and hoping the protagonist, Marina, didn't misstep around her (which she did, often, a cause for great humor in the book) These people were real - alive on the page and beyond.
4. Setting - I loved being in the Amazon as much as I loved being in Manaus as much as I loved being in Minnesota because Ann Patchett really explored her settings with careful, vivid and compelling details.
5. Imperfection is okay - Did I love the ending of the book? No. Was I a little let down? Yes. Is that okay? Absolutely. Books. like humans, can be inherently flawed and that's just fine. While I was slightly disappointed by the ending, it did not ruin the overall reading experience for me. As I did not write this book, I have no say in how the author chose (or rather the story made the author choose) how to end it.
What books have you read lately that have made you go WOW?