Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday's Review

New to my blog is the Wednesday Review. It might be a book, magazine article, essay, blog post, or novella. However, my reviews will have a twist as you will read below.

This week's review is Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline.
Natalie Greco loves being a teacher, even though she can't keep her students from cruising sex.com during class. She loves her family, too, but her boyfriend fits better with the football-crazy Grecos than she does. Then a colleague, handsome Angus Holt, talks Nat into teaching a class at a local prison, and her world turns upside down.
 

A violent prison riot breaks out, and Nat rushes to save the life of a mortally wounded guard whose last words are:"Tell my wife it's under the floor." Nat delivers the cryptic message, but before she knows it, she's suspected of murder and hiding from cops and killers alike. She is forced on the run to solve the riddle of the dead man's words and to save her own life--and find real love.

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times Bestseller and she has her niche. Her heroines are Italian attorneys in Philadelphia. The old writers advice is write what you know and Lisa does it with a freshness to each book. I like that she has created a brand. Her readers know the level of book they get when they pick up one with her name on it, which is one of the reasons she's a bestseller. And this is a lesson I wish to learn from her and apply to my career.

The second lesson I learned is Plot. Daddy's Girl's plot twists this way and that so you don't know where you are heading and end of the reading ride leaves you with whiplash in the greatest way. Although I'm revising a contemporary series romance I'm still perusing it with attention to how to twist the plot in unexpected ways to freshen up the manuscript.

The third lesson is what Margie Lawson calls NYT writing. That means writing at the level of New York Times bestseller. This writing seems quite simple yet it's harder than it looks. And Margie I'm still learning. 

Another lesson is pacing. The story doesn't slow. Natalie's tale has moments that release the tension but the conflict it still there and the external conflict is simmering in the scenes. And the ending doesn't drop-off. Sometimes, writers are so excited to be nearing the end that the last pages feel as a let down. This story satisfies the reader.

The last lesson I learned was the seamlessly blending of the Internal Conflict into the story and plot. I think I can improve on this front. I saw how the external and internal conflict, story and plot, came together and enriched each word on the page. So, I'm also applying that to my story.

It seems that my to-do list is growing but my writing is getting better thanks to my favorite pastime, reading.

Have you read Daddy's Girl? Do you have something to add? Please share.

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