Writers Who Read
#32

6 June 2021

Agenda



  • Why We're Here

  • Literary Forensics
  •     - What do I bring?
  •     - What do I feel?
  •     - What do I notice?
  •     - What do I want to learn?

  • Next Month's Reading & Study


Why We're Here

We Writers want to improve our craft

by Reading like a Writer

through Literary Forensics training

we learn from each other

Roundtable Rules

Always refer back to the book

We practice active listening & serendipity

Every feeling and observation is valid...
but not every conclusion

Always refer back to the book

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Introductions

What do I bring
to this book?

Today's author: Brit Bennett


  • Education: Stanford; Michigan University: MFA
  • First novel, The Mothers, a bestseller
  • - Optioned for movie, Bennett wrote screenplay

  • Vanishing Half took 4-5 years to write
  • - June 2020: 17-way bidding war, won by HBO ($1M+)
  • - To be made into a mini-series

  • Bennett's essays have been published in The New Yorker,
    The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review,
    and Jezebel

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

What do I feel?

What in the book elicited that feeling?

Every feeling and observation is valid...
but every conclusion should be questioned

We practice serendipity
- nothing is too crazy

Always refer back to the book

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

What do I notice?


  •    • Language and Grammar

  •    • Context

  •    • Point of view

  •    • Character & character development

  •    • Horizontal structure

  •    • Pacing

  •    • Layering of themes

  •    • Overall effect

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

The Vanishing Half - Stats

  • Marketing: Black & African American Literary Fiction, Historical Literary Fiction, Coming of Age Fiction
  • Genre: Realistic Recent-Past Archplot Long-Form
  • Word count: 101,533; avg. wds/sent.: 11.9
  • Print Pages: 350
  • Reading Level: 6-7th Grade; Lexical Density: 48.24


  • Publish date: June 2, 2020
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Sold By: Penguin Random House
  • Audio book narr.: Shayna Small (11 hrs, 34 mins)

  • A Best Book of 2020: NY Times, Washington Post, People, Time, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Barack Obama
  • A NY Times bestseller--still after 12 months!
  •  

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Writers Who Read: Coming Up

September 5: Shuggie Bain - Douglas Stuart (USA, 2020)
October 3: Hamnet - Maggie O'Farrell (UK, 2020)
November 7: Inside Story - Martin Amis (UK, 2020)
December 5: Deacon King Kong - James McBride (USA, 2020)




Thanks to: Boulder Writers Alliance

Contact Gary: hello@garyalanmcbride.com
Literary Forensics Resources

Happy
Sleuthing!