Jason Pinter is one of my favorite authors. He’s an excellent writer who has written numerous internationally best-selling books. And, he’s also the founder and publisher of Polis Books, an independent publishing company he launched in 2013 following positions in editorial and marketing at Warner Books, Random House, St. Martin’s Press and Grove/Atlantic and the Mysterious Press.
My friend Dawnna tagged me in a Facebook post where she listed 10 books that stayed with her for one reason or another. The goal is simply writing down 10 books that touched you without listing them in any particular order or over analyzing what should or shouldn’t be included. Then, you have to tag five friends and ask them to do the same. Since I thought this was a cool idea, I’m turning my list into a blog post. Please feel free to list your “10 Books That Touched You” in the comments section below.
- The Mark – Jason Pinter
- It – Stephen King
- The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
- The Innocent – Harlan Coben
- Six Years – Harlan Coben
- The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke – Suze Orman
- Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life – Donald Trump
- No Way Back – Andrew Gross
- Sex Money KISS – Gene Simmons
- Napalm & Silly Putty – George Carlin
Today is the second day of ThrillerFest, and it’s been great so far. Not only did I meet the man who created John Rambo, I also ran into one of my favorite authors, Jason Pinter. Below are photos and highlights from some of the sessions. Enjoy!
Andrew Gross – 10 Ways to Keep the Reader Turning Pages
- Use short linking dramatic chapters to keep the reader hooked and wanting to know what’s next.
- In every scene eliminate what does not directly advance the story.
- Your writing cadence should reflect what’s happening in the book.
- Don’t bog the narrative down by showing off, being boring or using unnecessary description.
- Try to eliminate the parts that readers tend to skip.
- Remove extraneous words.
- Don’t provide too much information – decide what you need, and cut it in half.
- Orient the reader quickly when you begin a scene to avoid taking the reader out of the narrative.
- Know what each chapter or scene is trying to deliver and don’t do more.
- If all else fails, use a larger font.
Steven James – How to Discard Your Outline and Write Better Stories
- Root yourself in what a story really is.
- Let the narrative forces, not formulas, drive your story forward.
- Trust the fluidity of the process.
- Follow rabbit trails – you have to explore.
- Write obligatory scenes.
- Make a promise or keep one – explain what the desire is, what’s at stake.
- Re-evaluate where you’re going – to understand the reader’s point of view.
- Ask those three vital questions that solve any plot problem (see below).
- Take the time to meet your characters.
- Give readers what they want or something better.
Three questions to solve any plot problem you encounter:
- What would this character naturally do?
- How can I make things worse?
- How can I end this scene or story in a way that’s not predictable?
David Morrell – Setting
- “Be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.”
- “Writing is a vocation, not a profession. It’s the history of our souls.”
- “Forget about sight and concentrate on feeling.”
- “Writing can be one of two things: stained glass or Windex. Readers can either be aware that they’re reading a book or, like a window after being wiped down with Windex, they can see right through it and be completely absorbed. There’s a place for both.”
- “Use stealth description, so the reader isn’t aware of it.”