Showing posts from April, 2015

Learning From Novels: Leah Good’s Counted Worthy

  For the first of hopefully several novel discussion posts, I’ve chosen a novel I got for Christmas last year. Leah Good is a young, self-published, Christian novelist. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. I was convinced to put Counted Worthy on my Christmas list because there was some excitement over the book on The Rebelution.   First, before I go on, let me say that I am almost literally impossible to please when it comes to novels. (And I use ‘literally’ in the literal sense.) Modern novels have even less of a chance. I don’t like the typically scanty atmosphere they are barely able to muster. Nonetheless, I decided to try to stay positive, and read Counted Worthy.   There are a lot of different little things I could say about this book, but I’ve narrowed it down to a major good point, and a major bad point. Bad news first:   In a word, worldbuilding. The term “worldbuilding” is commonly thrown around in the realms of speculative fiction writers, but really, it

Don't Do The Mirror

People really struggle with figuring out when and how to describe their characters’ physical appearances. Some people just throw it in there in the middle of the narrative as a rather long, off-subject aside. Others skip it altogether. But one of the most common and lazy ways to get the information out there is the mirror. So, you’re in the first scene of your novel. Your character is getting ready to go somewhere, or just waking up in the morning, or something convenient like that. So, of course, he or she looks in the mirror. How natural is that?   Well, here comes the unnatural part. For some reason, we readers are forced to look in the mirror too, and are subjected to a detailed report of what is reflected there. And (voila) we have our physical description of the main character.   Here’s what makes it awkward: when you look in the mirror, what do you see? Of course, you see a rather sickly-looking sandy-haired girl with long bangs, light freckles and denim-blue eyes