Last night I went to Taylor University in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, to hear Chip Macgregor speak to one of Doc Hensley's classes. Chip covered a lot of good material about the publishing industry, how to get started, when do you need an agent, and a host of other topics. But the one we talked about on the drive back was what makes a book great?
Chip says you need three things to make it as a writer: great writing, great platform, and great ideas. It's ideal to have the intersection of all three. Not everyone has that. There's not a whole lot I can do about my platform. Sure, I guest blog on several blogs, I contribute to books, but those aren't in the fiction area. I have this blog (thanks to all my good friends and family who read it :-) ). I can work at cultivating good ideas. I can brainstorm with others to take a good idea and then twist it on its head so it avoids over-done cliches.
But writing. That's where I can really work and hone my skills. There are writers where I pick up the book and have to savor it because the word use is perfect. I can tell they invested time and thought into choosing the words the appear on the page. Some are able to combine excellent writing with a great plot.
I am currently savoring Mary DeMuth's Wishing on Dandelions. I just finished one of Colleen Coble's books; she paints such rich settings with her words that I could almost feel the tropical breezes on my face. I aspire to have these ladies skill with words, but also their heart for God. And I can tell you that each of them works HARD at their writing, always aspiring to improve.
What book have you read that had great writing?