Flawless Fiction

Although I am an insatiable reader, there are some books – too few unfortunately – that give me pause. So flawless has the author been with language, dialogue, plot development, characters, and climax that I reach the end most reluctantly, even sadly. My mind lingers on what I have just finished; I close my eyes and recall every pleasing part. I have held perfection in my hands and hate to let it go, knowing that the next book I pick up will be lacking. Even another book by the same author may not be as satisfying, which is usually the case and a total bummer.

Besides the well-known classics of Louisa May Alcott, L. Frank Baum, James Fenimore Cooper, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexandre Dumas, Daphne du Maurier, William Faulkner, Henry Fielding, Zane Grey, Thomas Hardy, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, Harper Lee, Jack London, Baroness Emma Orczy, Gene Stratton Porter, Betty Smith, Robert Louis Stevenson, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells, I also keep more modern books of flawless fiction for inspiration and guidance. The following books/authors awed me and left me pining for more:

Anatomy of a Murder (1958)/Robert Traver
Blacklands (2010)/Belinda Bauer
The Chosen (1967)/Chaim Potok
Cold Sassy Tree (1984)/Olive Ann Burns
Cujo (1981)/Stephen King
Gone, But Not Forgotten (1993)/Phillip Margolin
A Grave Talent (1993)/Laurie R. King
The Help (2009)/Kathryn Stockett
The Illuminator (2005)/Brenda Rickman Vantrease
In the Company of the Courtesan (2006)/Sarah Dunant
The Kite Runner (2004)/Khaled Hosseini
A Knight in Shining Armor (1989)/Jude Deveraux
Land of a Hundred Wonders (2008)/Lesley Kagen
Lightning (1988)/Dean Koontz
The Milagro Beanfield War (1974)/John Nichols
Maia (1984)/Richard Adams
The Religion (2006)/Tim Willocks
The Secret Life of Bees (2001)/Sue Monk Kidd
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (2008)/David Wroblewski
A Time to Kill (1989)/John Grisham
Water for Elephants (2006)/Sara Gruen
Watership Down (1972)/Richard Adams
Whistling in the Dark (2007)/Lesley Kagen

You can learn more about the art of writing from accomplished authors and playwrights than you can from anything else. Excellent writing grabs at your heart, mind, and senses. It takes you places and evokes your emotions. It does not instruct you as much as infuse you with the knowledge of what true writing is all about. So, do not feel guilty about reading something worthwhile and beneficial, because it is a part of the writing process. We read; therefore, we write. We write; therefore, we will be read.

That should be your ultimate goal, your mark of achievement – to write flawless fiction that everyone cannot wait to read.


About Cyranette

I have been writing since I was 11 and am now a grandmother of 9. Aside from my family, I love writing, reading, movies, gardening, genealogy, and travel. I met my soulmate online and we've been married 19 years. I am a survivor of rape, abuse, and cancer. I believe in love, kindness, and common sense. I was born/raised in Indiana and have lived in Massachusetts, Texas, and California. I have visited: most of the United States, British Columbia, Germany, Austria, and Costa Rica. My husband and I would like to visit England, Europe, and New Zealand and to take a train ride along the Canadian/American border. I have written essays, articles, short stories, a romance novel, a self-help book, and several children's books.
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