welcome to re: read pages

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I am one of those people that enjoys rereading the same book. I even have multiple copies of some books, one for reading till the pages fall out and one for display (to admire its cover as much as its contents). The way authors can put together regular, everyday words and make them be more is astounding to me, and I reread those books to enjoy the feelings they evoke and to admire the work involved in being able to draw those feeling out.  

Good writing doesn’t just happen. It takes time, revision, and care. Great writing – the kind that blows your hair back, stays with you and makes you reread the same pages over and over ­­– well, that kind of writing is illusive. It requires the work of good writing and a mystery ingredient unique to each writer; 10,000 hours may make you capable but it doesn’t make you memorable.

Reading great books can be a challenge, too. Not just processing the sometimes difficult subject matter but seeing the choices an author makes to build scenes and characters. Taking apart a book to expose the thought behind the words can reveal the talent of the writer and bring the reader closer to what makes great writing great.

I hope to use re: read pages to discuss the craft of writing by looking at books or phrases that showcase that craft and to prompt me to work on my own writing (despite the crippling fear of mediocrity). The focus will be on novels, with particular interest in debut novels and the novels of one of my favourite authors, David Adams Richards.

Don’t worry if you haven’t read the book being discussed. You should still be able to form an opinion about the author’s choices that I present or react to my ideas about the book or writing in general. Also, as seems be required nowadays, there may be spoilers about the plot of the books, but, in my opinion, if the writing is great, it doesn’t matter if you know the story because it is how the novel brings you there that is the real enjoyment.

I’m sure the blog will evolve as I work out the tone and focus of the posts and add new features as I learn what is available, but I hope you will enjoy my thoughts on writing and that you will contribute your own observations, comments and critiques as part of the discussion. And, of course, I am always on the lookout for another great read, so please feel free to offer recommendations.

BJL

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