Friday, July 10, 2009

I believe...

I had a boss who used to say, "You just couldn't make this stuff up," as he marveled at the stupidity of the directives from his boss. (None of us disagreed with his assessment.) Twice this week something happened that was so odd that it was followed by, "If you wrote that, no one would believe it."

What is it that writers do to make fiction seem real? Is it the characters, the setting, the story, or all of those combined? Or do different things convince different readers to dispense with reality and enter the reality of the story?

Do readers watch for that one piece of them or someone they know in a character before the character takes on life-like qualities? Is it the little detail in the setting that makes it come to life, like the mist that blows inland from the waves at the beach?

When I read a story, I try to watch for that point when I become committed to read on because I can't not read it. The trouble is, I realize I'm committed long after it has happened.

Think of your favorite book, the one you've read more times than other book. What is it that the author did that connected with you to make you read it again?


  1. Hi Nadine,

    I've been reading your blog for a few weeks right now...and I'm learning quite a lot. Particularly enjoyed learning about your first person writing style...I'm partial to that myself!

    Anyway...just wanted to introduce myself - I'm Peggy and I have two blogs, one specifically for stepmoms ( and one that is chronicling my passion for writing, yoga, kickboxing, helping others, etc (

    My favorite fiction book that I've read a few times is "The Doomsday Book" by Connie Willis - SciFi meets my passion for history =) Willis simply used a pandemic in the present day and time travel to tell a story about the Plague in 1340ish England. Amazing story.

    My favorite non-fiction book is a toss up - I have a few that I've read more than a dozen times, "The Gift of Change" by Marianne Williamson - you can feel the love and compassion jump off the pages. My second one would be "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff - I love how Hoff brought the principles and philosophy of Taoism out in the Winnie-the-Pooh characters! Brillant!

  2. Peggy,
    Welcome and thank you for reading. I was over at Serendipity Smiles earlier today. I'm not a step-mom, but a week or so ago, I sent that link to a step-mom friend.

    It is pretty cool when you find a book that is like a lunch date with a best friend every time you read it, isn't it? It is especially nice to "come home to" if you've just finished a book that didn't deliver. We all long to write that "BFF novel." (BFF=Best Friends Forever)