Friday, August 8, 2008

The weight of a good chapter

I spoke with a book club from Sacramento last night, a group who took the time to read all three of my novels before setting up the call with me. (How great is that!? Thanks again, guys!) One woman asked what I aspire to achieve each day when I sit down at my computer. "And please don't say you aspire to write a bestseller," she added, "because for any author that's a given. Tell us what you hope to achieve day by day."

That's easy. You know what it's like when you're reading a good book and you're tired and you think, "I'll just finish this chapter and then I'll turn off the light" but then you can't help yourself so you read the opening of the next chapter and... ooomph... you get sucked right back in?

There. That's what I aspire for each day (which is, of course, what every author aims for.) To have readers so invested in the weight of the chapter I'm working on that they can't stop reading, which of course means working on a story so compelling each chapter feels like its own rich little book. I'm not saying I've managed to achieve this with every chapter I've ever written, but it is what I aim for each day as I continue to grow as an author.

13 comments:

Ramona said...

I'm betting it sounds a
whole lot easier than it
really is, huh?

kyla-dale said...

Tin Box & Silver Compass had a huge page turning feel for me. Penny Tree not so much but that's probably cuz I'm not married and have no kids. Oh, and I definitely see growth in your writing with each new book.

Travis Erwin said...

You've kept me up a few nights reading so I'd say you've achieved your goal for the most part.

Victoria said...

Good goal. I have often wondered why it is that some authors spin out 2 novels a year (no names) which are "average" when they could write ONE extra special story that rocks!

Ermmm.... Maybe they don't have it in them or else they aren't pushing themselves to grow?

Therese said...

A focused and worthy goal (which I of course share).

And I wouldn't mind if it leads us to bestsellerdom too! :)

Cindy said...

You've done your job well Holly. Your books have all done that for me, I had a hard time putting them down and would end up staying up quite late reading them.

Adam said...

"the weight of a chapter"
I like that.

wordman17 said...

Lift those weights Ms.
Kennedy! I greatly admire
what you do and how you
do it.

laughingwolf said...

best advice anyone can get, holly!

ORION said...

I think creating a compelling read is my main goal also...
from barely internetless ORION...
If I wasn't waxing the hull of my boat I'd be writing...

laughingwolf said...

come get your award....

laughingwolf said...

btw, you may call me tony, a lot shorter to write ;) lol

Janet said...

Good goal. I'm not sure I'm there yet. I'm just trying to make each chapter worthy of the time it took to read it.