Friday, March 30, 2012

From Reader to Writer by Natalie-Nicole Bates

From Reader to Writer in three not-so-easy steps!

By Natalie-Nicole Bates

For several years before I even formulated an idea for my first book, I was reviewing books. Being a voracious reader since I was a child, reviewing seemed like the natural choice for me.
When I was still in school, my teacher assigned us students to choose three books each semester and write a few paragraphs about them. This was my first taste of book reviewing! While I was reading and reviewing Harold Robbins and Sidney Sheldon, my teacher came to me and said, You really should be reading the classics.

To me, Sheldon and Robbins were the Masters.

Book reviewing is an art that requires a special skill set. Book reviewing sites are professionally run, and most require interested applicants to audition. Book reviewers know how a book is put together, they understand the elements of plot, setting, scene, and point of view. They look for flow, for consistency, and most of all, they know how to remain neutral.

So if a book reviewer understands the mechanics of how a good book is put together, can they become writers themselves? Maybe.

About a year ago, I decided to make the leap into writing. First and foremost, I stopped reviewing contemporary and paranormal romance (the genres I was interested in). I did this by my own choice. I now review mostly mystery and inspirational romance.
I already had my idea for a contemporary romance, and I signed up for an intensive six month course in the art of novel writing. This past summer, I sold my first novel, Change of Address, which is now available at Secret Cravings Publishing. Within a few weeks of my sale, I was offered a contract for my short paranormal, Antique Charming, which is now available at Books To Go Now. Back To You followed, which is now available from Bradley Publishing.

I have made successful leaps from avid reader, to reviewer, to finally, writer. But everyone’s journey is individual. Not all reviewers will become writers, not all writers review. When people ask me, how did you know you wanted to review? How did you know you wanted to write? I tell them my truth. For me, it was a burn inside of me that would not let up until I started reviewing, until I started writing. Each reader, reviewer, and writer must follow her own path to personal satisfaction.

Twitter: BatesNatalie


Tara Fox Hall said...

I felt the same burn to write, Natalie. Great post! Back to You in on my to-read list.

Natalie-Nicole Bates said...

Thank you, Tara!

Vanessa said...

Wow, I could have written this myself, except for the publishing part. I'm still on my journey but I know I will reach it this year. I don't have any choice. The stories won't leave me alone and I know my life won't be fulfilled until I do. Great post. Continued good luck to you.

Sandra Bunino said...

Thank you for providing the reviewer background, Natalie! I have the deepest respect and appreciation for all of the wonderful reviewers out there. I've met some great people over the course of the past few months since publishing my debut novel. Just like writing, reviewing is a tireless passion.

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