Creative Writing Advice # 12: Read Other Books Carefully


Writingsecrets By Marieke

Many serious novels, especially those that tackle social subjects, come with a reading guide, which supplies questions for book clubs, students, and other committed readers. If you’re writing a novel, why not make up your own reading guide as you go along? Imagine the questions your readers may have about your book’s themes and characters – this will help you find the strengths and weaknesses of your story.

Here are some suggestions for questions to include in your “Writer’s Reading Guide”:

1. How do the first and last scene frame your novel?

2. Why are the main characters friends? And what do they fear from each other?

(After the Reading Guide to The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini )

3.  Discuss the topic of marriage as it is represented in your novel.

4. What are your thoughts on the structure of your novel?

(After the Reading Guide to The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan)

5. What rules, both written and unwritten, do the characters follow in the novel?

6. In what ways do the settings affect their residents?

(After the Reading Guide to The Cider House Rules by John Irving)

You can find more reading guides on

About the Author

Marieke van Buytene from the Netherlands is freelance writer, editor and creative writing teacher, so fate has decreed that she’ll never get a novel published.  Fortunately, a friend tipped her on WEbook in August 2008, so now at least she can share The Devil’s Virgin, and soon also her comic mystery stories and more.

WEbook Writing Secrets

Got a secret I don’t know about? Share it with the world in WEbook Writing Secrets. To submit a secret, email me or visit my profile and send me a message with the subject line: Writing Secrets. The best secrets will be published here and in the WEbook Toolbox. Authors will be credited with a byline and a bio.

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-- Melissa

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  1. What a great post! I have been thinking along these lines for awhile, but not sure how to go about it.
    This was certainly a timely post for me, Thanks
    Toni Shrader

  2. Various people in the world get the mortgage loans in different banks, because this is simple and comfortable.


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