I love the inspiration and ideas I receive from reading different genres and authors. Whether I’m turning the pages of a physical book or one on my Kindle or iPad, I write about what I’m reading.
Sticky notes work great for actual books, and on my Kindle, I highlight and make notes on the screen about passages that grab my attention. I track how authors created a certain mood, tone, or emotional response. If I see a good example of dialogue or a stellar sensory description, I note it. The notes make it easy to go back and review what I learned and what I enjoyed about the book.
Here are several examples of my highlights:
In the thriller Third Strike by Zoe Sharp, the protagonist Charlie Fox suffers the blow of being shocked by a stun gun. I was struck myself by the description of Charlie’s reaction:
The pain had a jagged quality all its own, ripping out chunks of my nervous system and spinning them away like debris from an explosion, so that some parts of my mind seemed magnified a hundred times and others were just big blank holes of frenzied nothingness. Next thing I knew I was on the floor, my body rigid. I was peripherally aware that my head was banging on the concrete and that was probably not a good thing, but I couldn’t stop the twitching dance of my limbs. My hands had distorted into the twisted claws of an arthritis-ravaged geriatric. I couldn’t see, couldn’t breathe. It was the worst cramp I’d ever had in my life, the most violent fever, the meanest hangover, all rolled into one.
Sharp not only wrote a vivid description, I felt the authority of her words. Her description seemed so realistic and rang so true that I almost wondered if she’d been shocked herself at some point by a stun gun. Read more