I'd like to tell you about a book I read last week that has completely changed the way I look at my characters. For those of you who write NF -stick around. There is something here for you too.
I've learned about the book "Winner Take All" by T. Davis Bunn.
I am sure this book is a few years old as I borrowed the book on tape from the Library. For those of you who write fiction, it is worth finding the book on tape and listening to it. He creates scenes that you don't only see but you FEEL in your soul.
When I go to my grandma's house I have certain emotions and memories tied to the place. There are things others never understand about that 3 bedroom ranch an hour from Cleveland, OH. But If they were to see the memories tied up in the place [or even the feeling I have for the sights and smells] they would understand why that home is so comforting to me. I can smell the lingering smell of Grandpa's pipe [now packed away]. I can look at the room I slept in as a teenager visiting for spring break. I can taste the swirled cinnamon bread on Sunday morning [bought from buehlers] and laugh about the time we all thought my brother Seth, at the time 9, had dug through the loaf to get a coveted end piece. I remember going fishing at the park down the road, swimming at the pool across town, and bowling with grandpa.
I want my reader to have those kinds of strong emotions when I introduce them to my characters. That is why, when I read Winner Take All, I read and studied the writing. I urge you to look at how he creates characters. Don't imitate it. But let his wording flavor your writing-or just influence it.
For you Non-Fiction Writers, use the descriptions he creates to describe where you are when you interview a subject for an article or when you describe a historical event. Use elements of fiction to help the reader experience the place you're talking about, to understand the person they're reading about.
Grab hold of your reader.
You need to have a great platform but without a great book to promote-it won't give your book the success you long for.
See you tomorrow, Your Coach for the Journey. Tiffany Colter
Wednesday, March 19, 2008