Last night, as I worked at the computer, a tiny black mosquito landed on my hand. Before I had chance to swat it, it managed to bite the knuckle of my little finger. It started to itch straight away, so I got up and put copious amounts of anti-itch cream on it. To no avail. Within minutes I had a huge lump that itched like crazy and after an hour I itched right up to my elbow! It’s still itching. You wouldn’t believe such a tiny thing could cause such a bother.
This isn’t a post about mosquitoes, though. This is a post about writing. Because I want to write like that little mosquito. I want to learn how to inject that special something into my stories that readers hardly notice at the time, but then they find they can’t leave the story behind. They itch to keep reading and even when they’ve finished reading, the experience stays with them.
Harper Lee found it, I think, in ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’. That’s probably the only book I ever had to read (for school) that I really found hard to put down. She injected such impelling reality into her characters that they became people the reader cared about. The plot held just enough mystery to keep the reader interested. I want to do that. I’ve a way to go before I write anything like that, though.
Back to the computer, I suppose - with a full can of flyspray this time.