I first posted this in November 2014, (how time flies) on my writer’s blog, Ramblings from a Writers Mind. However, I am re-posting it here, on Electric Eclectic’s blog simply because I think you will find it enjoyably informative… at least I hope you do.
Books, novels, novellas, whatever term you use it does not really matter. Neither does it matter, in this instance, if you are reading a hardcover book, a paperback or even an e-reader. Because this post is about the story that lays within, not the format, the genre or classification of the book.
A story is a most wondrous gift which can be bestowed on anyone. It affords an avenue of escapism from life, from reality. A tale can whisk you away to worlds which do not exist but feel real, feel true as you read and absorb each word on each and every page.
A great story will draw you in, make you part of its netherworld, a place where you can battle the bad guys, or be the bad guy, or girl, or dog or horse… or simply watch, from your lofty viewpoint, all that transpires below.
No matter if you love a twisted plot of dirty deeds, or raunchy romance, fast action with death and destruction, a private detective prying into everyone’s business, or a love and betrayal saga of family and ever-changing fortunes; as a reader, you must consider how the author weaves such magic, how they are able to draw you into their fiction, into their deep mindbending imagination.
Whether you are laying on a recliner by the pool, soaking up the sun at the beach, or simply curled up in your armchair at home, a book is a magical portal, a gateway to another life, through which you can escape the humdrum of everyday tasks, at least for a while.
When you immerse yourself into a story the mundane evaporates, it disappears into the shadows of forgotten responsibilities, while you become absorbed into your own private world, a world that no other person can ever become part of.
Now, you may find my last statement somewhat beguiling.
Why would I say no other person could possibly enter the same world as you? After all, you are reading just one copy, a single edition of a book. Many other people must read the same story? They too have visited this fantastical world you now find yourself in?
Unlike watching the television, a downloaded video, or visiting the cinema where you sit with family and friends watching precisely the same action, hearing the same sounds, the same voices, a book is a far more personal experience.
It is a unique individual encounter.
When you read a story your eyes will be scanning the chains of words which are sequenced by the author. Yet it is not the author who is telling you the story. It is not these chains of words, mere ink blobs on the pages which paint those pictures in your mind. It is not they which lead you from one scene to another.
You see, in between the words there lies an invisible entity.
It is this entity which connects your mind to the authors, no matter how far away they may be in distance or time. Alive or long dead… you will become connected.
It is this which is the true magic of a book.
Wonderful plays and fantastic films work from the basis of good creative script writing, however, assisting the scriptwriters to deliver the words to an audience in a manner that will capture their attention are the actors and actresses. Their ability to deliver a speech or to convey dialogue convincingly is a wonderful skill.
Cameramen, directors, special effects, best boy’s and grips… and so on, produce the scenes and effects. But that vision, the moving images on the screen and the actor’s voices are not your story; they are the director’s interpretation of the screen-writers construal of the theatre play, which is based on the television series of the original book written by… whoever it may be.
Therefore, you are separated by degrees from the creators own thoughts.
I prefer a direct connection to the author, one without the intervention of another person, or persons, translation being foisted upon me.
Without becoming too technical, I am writing this post in a style far removed from the one I am using to write my novel. The way you are reading this is the way I have deliberately formatted my narration. In this instance as if I am speaking, talking directly to you personally. (Which I am)
In my fictional stories, the voice you hear is inside your head, may be omnipotent, or it may seem as if one of the characters is speaking, telling you the tale, it all depends on how I intend you to hear my story.
I hope I have explained that clearly?
The second reason reading a book is such a personal experience is, as you read, your mind creates a world so real and so detailed and in such a subjective form, it is only possible for it to exist in your own imagination.
Take a simple statement:
“The long black sedan drew up to the pavement outside the hotel.”
If it were a film I would agree because we would have both seen the same car, drive up to the same hotel, from the same direction, in the same weather conditions, at the same time of day….same….same…same.
However, when you are absorbed into the story of a book, you have to create the car yourself, imagine which direction it is driving, how the daylight reflects from its bodywork, or the lights glint on its polished paintwork as it drives under the portico of the main entrance… oh wait, your hotel did not have a portico? And it was not in the city centre… well, that’s ok, because this is your story and yours alone.
In mine it was night, the car was a dark blue stretched Bentley continental, what make was it in yours? Was it a stretch, was it blue or black… or white? What time of day, or night did you create for your story? Was it Chauffeur driven?
This is the reason you cannot read the same story as your friends, your mother, sister, brother, uncle, aunt or Little Lord Fauntleroy. You can read the same book, but you can never experience the same story.
Ahh, now you are beginning to understand the true magic of a book, the amazing mystical power of narration.
It is something unique, something no other medium can offer.
Which is why I love the written word, why I love books above and beyond any other form of media for regaling a great story.
It is why I love to write.
Talking about writing… have you read any of my Electric Eclectic novelettes yet?
If not, you are missing a treat; each Electric Eclectic novelettes contain an amazing and captivating short story.
If you prefer paperbacks, I have now published several of my novelettes as Pocketbooks, smaller sized paperbacks which are perfect for slipping into a bag or, dare I say, a pocket. They will even fit into the back pocket of your denim jeans.
How’s that for convenience?
Visit @open24, Electric Eclectic’s Amazon store for readers and writers…