Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Mark Rubinstein Guest Post - "The Magic of a Novel"
We’ve all had the experience of reading a novel and being caught up not only in the story, but in the characters (think of Gone Girl and Catcher in the Rye). It’s partly a matter of having an interest in one or another genre, but most of us have enjoyed novels that are not from our preferred reading landscape.
There are probably several reasons why a novel can grab and hold you so you’re sorry the read is coming to an end.
First, there’s the story itself. It resonates on some level. It taps into something deep within you—perhaps the situation in which the protagonist is placed, or the twists and turns of the plot fire up your imagination, spurring you on to the next page—and the one after that. It may be the child’s wish, residing in each of us, to know what happens next. Plot matters greatly and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Equally important are the characters populating the novel. You want to care and feel for the protagonist. It matters what happens in his or her life. If he feels fear, you have that feeling. If she feels lust, so must you. If he’s in a jam, you want to sweat along with him. If she feels devastated, you want to feel her anguish. In other words, you want to identify with the character and be inside his or her head and heart while the person negotiates the rigors of the plotline.
Of course, there’s the power of language and dialogue. Dynamic language can describe so much while telling a story. It provides richness, and the scene comes alive. You can see, hear and even smell what’s on the page.
When a writer’s dialogue is crisp and real (think Elmore Leonard), you can actually hear the characters speaking. An old saw has it that dialogue isn’t just what people say to each other, it’s what they do to each other with words. Each word spoken in a novel can connote action, or intention; and add to the story’s narrative drive, its arc…its essence.
People have preferences formed by their individual natures, backgrounds, and cultures. But a good novel can transcend these differences and transport you to another world. It can make you live there and experience what that world is about (think of the Harry Potter novels, The Hunger Games or Game of Thrones).
Artfully written, a novel can make you leave behind your world—at least for the hours you spend reading—and enter the one unfolding on the pages before you.
Now that’s magic.
Author, Mad Dog House and Love Gone Mad
Mark’s Amazon Author Page link is : http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Rubinstein/e/B001HPQJFW/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
I have Mark’s new release on my Goodreads “Currently Reading List”! Here is the Goodreads link to the novel : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21965817-mad-dog-justice