<$Susan Goodwill$>

Sunday, November 26, 2006

NaNo #23 Deconstructing Dead Men

I have a secret. I ripped up Dead Men. Okay, so here's the thing. I liked the plot, the pacing, and the subplot of Harley Jane Kozak's Dating Dead Men. I liked the characters and the humor.

It didn't hurt that it won the Macavity and the Anthony and a slew of other awards for best first novel. So what I did was, I tore it apart. I marked up my copy for plot, inciting incident, how characters were described when they were introduced. I rated scenes from 1 to 5 for action, pacing, conflict. I looked at chapter length, introduction of backstory, use of setting. I watched how the climax fell and what was tied up ahead of time and what after. I looked at the weak points and the strong points.
I did this with a few other books as well. Crusie and Evanovich and others.
And I'm about to do it again.
So, my tip today, is find an author you love and rip her a new one.


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