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Start writing fiction: characters and stories
Start writing fiction: characters and stories

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7.1.1 Formulating and sharing technical opinion

Figure 2

Your opinion about what you read is important and you now have the skills necessary to be more analytical in assessing why you prefer one story, or novel, over another.

Activity 7.1 Why does a book work?

Choose one book you have read and liked, and one you have read and disliked. In 100 words, say why you think a particular book you have read works; again, in 100 words, say why you think another book does not.

Note especially:

  • how effective the characterisation is in these books
  • whether these books make you want to read on – why or why not
  • how and why you consider a book or passage in a book ‘works’ or doesn’t ‘work’.

Note: you might enjoy reading a book that in many ways you think does not work. Or you might dislike a book that you are conscious of ‘working’ or of being ‘good’. It is important to reflect and analyse why you form these opinions. Such reflections can be crucial to how you undertake your own writing.

Write your observations in your notebook – and see if you can exchange thoughts with somebody you know.