The Invisible Writer

I’ve been wanting to write a post about the most recent Michael Knost writing class that I took, titled The Invisible Writer, and I just haven’t had the time. I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot! The premise of the class was things you shouldn’t do as a writer that draws attention to you – the author – and pulls your reader out of the story.

Rather than rehashing what he taught, I wanted to mention two things he hit on:

One is my biggest pet peeve: head hopping. I love Eve Dallas and her man, Roarke, who are featured in J.D. Robb’s In Death series. However, I can only read small bits of the books at a time. She head hops, and it gets on my nerves royally. I don’t want to know all of the characters’ inner thoughts in the scene. Budding authors, do yourself a favor and write from one character’s POV (point of view) per scene. You readers will appreciate it much more if you do.

The second point I wanted to mention is what he termed Purple Prose. I recently read a book where the author did this, and I have to say, I won’t be reading any more of her books. Purple prose is when you – the author – try to impress the reader with your knowledge. In the book I read, the author was in the medical field. She used a plethora of ten-cent medical words that did nothing for me. Nada. Keep your reader in the story by not drawing attention to your fancy-shmancy vocabulary or your complex dialogue – do people really talk like that??

If you ever have the opportunity to take one of Michael’s classes, I highly recommend you do. He can be found at www.michaelknost.com and www.michaelknost.blogspot.com.

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