If I could create a perfect perfume based upon a good book, I'd call it Literary Essence. That's what a great story should be -- something we inhale and savor, connecting to it with all our senses. That's the kind of book I want to read, and even more, that's the kind of book I long to write.
I want to write books that will cling to a reader's memory like perfume -- sweet, unyielding, alluring. It's the best and surest way for me to connect with my audience.
So what gives a story literary essence? For my tastes, it takes a book with the following:
· Dynamic characters who are believable and motivated into action
· A sustainable plot that is multi-layered and anything but predictable
· A theme that resonates with my ideals or that will provoke me to thought
· The ability to suspend my disbelief as well as keep me holding my breath
· Powerful, realistic dialogue fraught with meaning
· A strong sense of place, time, and culture
Of course, it's easy to desire these traits in a book I'm reading, and much harder to implement them as a writer.
In The Green Veil, I try to do each one, from creating main characters whose choices move the story, to intricately layering plot and theme. I pay special attention to historical detail and riveting dialogue.
To me, these are the details that separate a 2-star story from a 5-star. They're the difference between department store perfume and a $250,000 bottle of Clive Christian.
What are the factors that you think give a story literary essence? What would cause you to set a book aside?
In tomorrow's final post, we'll talk about our mutual Book Passion and the connections stories build between us. I'll also leave you with an excerpt of The Green Veil. Until then!
Naomi and husband Jeff enjoy epic adventures around their home in the Wisconsin woods with their five young adults. She is currently hard at work editing Book 2 of the Empire in Pine series, releasing in October, 2011 from Desert Breeze Publishing. She invites readers to say hello and find out more about her stories, passions, and other writing venues at http://www.naomimusch.com or look her up on Facebook and Twitter (NMusch).
THE GREEN VEIL - Book 1 - Empire in Pine Series - historical inspirational romance from Desert Breeze Publishing http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com
HEART NOT TAKEN - A contemporary, inspirational novella from Black Lyon Publishing http://www.blacklyonpublishing.com