How to be a Better Fictional Writer: The Bone Collector and What Jeffery Deaver has Taught Me.

First off I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Bone Collector and don’t  worry I will not give anything away. I recommend The Bone Collector for Christian and non-Christian readers. Jeffery Deaver’s book reads more like a Stephen King novel than the traditional sweet, Christianie books one might find at Lifeway or Scared Melody.

And if we can be frank with ourselves, most Christian fictional literature is terrible. Jeffery Deaver provides some helpful ways for Christians on how to be a better writer. I intend to extract those principles from one of his thrillers. Consequently, I aim to provide writing principles that I have learned from reading Jeffery Deaver’s book The Bone Collector. The titles bellow for each point are going to be obvious but stay with me through the explanation part because Deaver offers precious truths that we must all apply.

Respect the Reader: Jeffery Deaver has an unparalleled respect for his readers. I have never read a book where I felt like every page was propelling the story. If you miss one page of Jeffery Deaver’s book The Bone Collector than you will most likely lose a critical detail for a latter part of the book. What does that have to do with the reader? Everything. If I am going to spend my precious time reading some book, the author better not waste my time with irrelevant details that do not matter. Every detail that Jeffery Deaver provides serves as some way to make the scene that much more horrific, tense, and palm sweating. Yes, you the reader are allowed to have high demands. If the author does not meet those needs than I encourage you to do as I, Put the book down.

Be Honest: I am convinced that no other writing technique comes across more persuasive than being honest. As a reader, I have certain expectations that the characters must meet to convince me that they could be real people. Jeffery Deaver has no problem persuading his readers of the dangers that his characters are experiencing in the book at the hands of a merciless killer. The main character has serious flaws even though he is incredibly intelligent. Essentially, what it means, to be honest in your writing is the same as saying don’t be afraid that your characters look human. The main character does not have to be perfect; the characters in the peripheral do not need a long meaningless explanation on why they are in the book. Focus on the main story line, and quit it with the endless tangents and “footnotes,” if I can call them that. Also, being honest in your writing is another way of saying; let your characters speak like human beings. It is incredible when reading some pieces of literature; it looks like that author completely forgot how people talk. So, next time. Be honest.

Make the Reader Care: You can make a reader care about your characters without going into long, irrelevant details. How? By making your characters human. Just read the first chapter of The Bone Collector and tell me you don’t care about the two victims in the back of the taxicab. Deaver beautifully employs all five senses while describing a scene, thus making any reader who has a soul just about cry.

Final Thoughts: If there is one thing that I will never forget about The Bone Collector it’s the power of a twist at the end of a story. If the author does it right, a huge twist at the end of the book will almost guarantee a great book to me. I love surprises and after reading this book, I was surprised and happy as a reader because I flew through this story from beginning to end.


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