Friday, December 22, 2006

The Train-of-Thought Writing Method

Book Review
The Train of Thought Writing Method
Author: Kathi Macias
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Bloomington, Indiana

Ánd that’s how you create three-dimensional characters who will make your train’s observation car the highlight of your journey, and also diminish your chances of hearing your readers whine, “Are we there yet?” pg 69
I love trains! The one train ride I remember most was a trip from Atlanta, Georgia, back to my hometown, on Christmas night, of all nights, during a heavy rain.

And, so this book with the subject of trains for a writing method really intrigued me. The author takes you from ‘laying the track’ for the book, to the ‘cow catcher’. She explains this as the way a writer hooks the reader for the rest of the story. If the story doesn’t have a good start, then the reader will not want to go any farther.

From the ‘cow catcher’, to the locomotive, through the boxcars, she leads you into the ‘couplers’. We know that, with a real train, the couplers join the cars to one another. Without them, the train would not be complete. So, in writing, the ‘couplers’ are the parts of the story that join different parts together, and they keep the reader interested in what is going to happen next.

Next, comes the observation car. If you’ve ever been to Look Out Mountain, you know they have an observation center where you can look through a telescope and see other states. You ‘observe’ what is going on around you. When you are reading, you want to be caught up in the story. You want to feel like you are there, that you can just know what is going to happen next.

But, the caboose is what is most important. Nobody wants to read a great story only to get to the end, and be let down. A good story can be ruined by ending abruptly, not giving a satisfactory ending. One should always leave the reader with a sense of satisfaction. All stories must end, whether it is with a ‘living happily ever after’ ending or riding off into the sunset, as many westerns that I saw ended.

This is a great book for all prospective writers. Following the idea of the ‘train-of-thought’ writing method is a great way to keep your story on the right track.

The author, Kathi Macias, is a mother/grandmother from Homeland, CA. She is a former newspaper columnist and string reporter. She has authored or co-authored fifteen books.

My name is Barbara Sanders, a wife/mother/grandmother from Alabama. I review books for Active Christian Media. And, I give this book five stars. In fact, I will be reading it again, since I would love to write a book some day!

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