The first book for the Writer’s Book Club* is Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.
The goal of this book club is to read the book not just to enjoy it, but to analyse it for the storytelling techniques used.
My (over-ambitious) reading plan for this first book is to look for story structure: inciting incident, turning point, crisis, and so on. Part of this will entail making the kind of chapter notes that I write for a draft: characters involved, location, starting conditions, ending conditions.
I am also going to be looking for chapter linkage and purpose – how does the narrative bridge from one point of view to the next? What is the question left unanswered at the end of each chapter which drives us to turn the page? How does this chapter contribute to the plot?
That last question is one of the reasons that I wanted to start with Snow Crash, in fact: it is for the most part pure story. I enjoy much of Neal Stephenson’s work but many of the longer novels are rather heavy on the discursive content and not so focussed on a driving story. The other large part in my choice is that it is a multi-viewpoint story, and so relevant to some of my own travails.
What do you think you will look for in your reading?
Update: I should also have mentioned that I will be posting a discussion post in a couple of weeks. Next book will be in a month.
[*] if you have a better name, I would love to hear it.