dorothystewartblog

about writing and life and God

The perfect book

on February 4, 2013

The button to the right still says ‘January sale’ even though it’s February. Time for me to decide whether to shut it down or type up the last couple of shelves full of books about writing and extend the sale for another week or so. I do want to get the shelves cleared!

I have a definite weakness for books. This morning I went to the library to collect a book I’d reserved ages ago (The 100 year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared by Jonas Jonasson). I really, truly, only meant to pick it up. But I came home with two more. To add to the pile of library books to the left of my chair. Which match the pile of bought rather than borrowed books on the table to the left of my chair.

‘Write what you like to read’ I have read many times. But I like to read just about anything — so long as it’s not indecent (I gave up on the first book of 50 Shades early on), violent-nasty-gory (50 Shades ditto), psychologically twisted or twisting (oh dear, 50 Shades again), has too many swear words…

That means I read cosy crime, historical crime, romantic crime… In fact anything with a decent plot which can keep me absorbed and my brain trying to work out the puzzle of who done it and how it will all work out. And anything with a tempting title, a good review, a blurb on the back that intrigues me…

I demand a happy ending. I cannot bear artificial misery being injected into my life or my mind. So it’s unrealistic? Or is it? I believe in a good and loving God who loves his children and provides for them and has their best interests at heart. So yes, the road can be rough and steep, but joy belongs to God and love and all the beautiful things, so why can’t I have them in the fiction I read? Leave the misery and the dreggy stuff to the opposition.

And I love a puzzle – a plot/story that lures me in and keeps me turning pages to find out what happens. I suppose it doesn’t have to be a murder mystery. I’m finding The Hundred Year Old Man fascinating. He wakes up on his birthday in the care home. They’ve planned a big celebration with the mayor etc. attending and he decides he just can’t be bothered with it. So he climbs out of the window in his slippers and heads off– into adventures. (I just hope it has a happy ending!!!!)

I love adventures. Once upon a time I had an adventurous life so I empathise completely with the escapee!

A little romance appeals in the fiction I read. Too much is a turn-off (especially anything too syrupy).

So if I were to write the kind of book I like to read, it would have to include adventure, a puzzle or at the least a real story, a little romance, and a happy ending.

Ah yes. I know just where I can find the first 35,000 words of such a book (and the research notes).

Work in progress

Work in progress

And maybe it’s time to find out if it has a happy ending!

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