Wow. This topic was a bit of a kick in the pants for me.
First, I don’t usually read in other genres outside of fantasy and science fiction. And I’m pretty darn picky with my science fiction these days. However, there have recently been a number of exceptions to this, and so I’ll talk about a few of the things I’ve learned from a very limited number of books in other genres.
- I need to work on conveying the feel of a setting better. I’m okay at this, but I read a cozy mystery about a month ago that did such a good job with this aspect of storytelling, I found myself re-reading those paragraphs over and over and over…
- Readers of historical novels, including historical romance, seem to love long passages devoted to descriptions of strange and/or ordinary things in the past. I found that in a number of popular novels in that genre. However, I’ve also read a few Regencies that managed to convey the same information without the long passages, so I could be wrong on this. It could be like fantasy, where there’s a tendency toward long descriptions of every piece of clothing or food item in a number of books, but the ones I like manage to convey the feel of all that and go straight to the action. Something for me to learn.
- It’s possible to really hate the way a story is written and still fall in love with the story itself.
- I have a hard time with mysteries that portray the cops as inept and arrogant while the sweet lady solves the case in her spare time.
- I need to read a heck of a lot more in a lot more genres.
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