Wonderful walk in the woods

Okay, in this story rabid environmentalists succeed in kidnapping the Secretary of the Interior from a hotel bathroom with no bullets in their guns. What’s not to love about that premise?

The delight is, the book is better than the premise. The compelling story is framed within thirty days of extreme camping and communing with nature. It’s #1 on Amazon’s Conservation list, but I wouldn’t have read it if I didn’t know the author because my reading time is limited. This book was worth every minute of my time because – Pat Lichen not only wrote a good story, there were also many times I was delighted by great writing. Then, she delivered a great ending.

This is not a secret – a good story needs a great ending – it’s a primary aspect of story telling that’s often ignored or forgotten. A story is a promise and the promise is – the ending will be good. It doesn’t have to be happy or fluffy but it has to be GOOD in relation to the story. The ending also has to resonate as appropriate according to the audience who will choose to read the story.

I love the Pacific Northwest and the magic it holds, I’ve even hugged a few trees. But I relate more to The Lorax and this is the type of story I will only enter as a fictional experience within the pages of a book. If anyone hands me a shovel and demonstrates the best way to shit in the woods, they will get that shovel upside the head.

But I did enter this fictional world of rabid environmentalists in contact with one of the elite political leaders of our country. And I turned every page and read every word. And when I reached The End, I not only felt satisfied by the story but enriched by the experience of being a voyeur to the action on the page.

That’s how a story delivers on the promise made in the opening sentence.

About Terri Patrick
Writer of Romance and Memoir. Life is an adventure, take that journey.

4 Responses to Wonderful walk in the woods

  1. A book I hadn’t heard about. I think you are right about a good ending. It can be frustrating when you have waded through 300+ pages and then have to put your own interpretation on the final outcome. But I guess there’s worse things in life!


    • terripatrick says:

      It’s my opinion that when a reader has to put their own interpretation on the ending, the writer didn’t do their job.

      The job of the writer is to create an experience for the reader but to conclude with an objective. In my opinion, those writers who leave the conclusion as subjective are not fulfilling the promise made in the opening paragraphs. The conclusion can be open for debate and inspire diversion and a host of conflicts. But there needs to be a conclusion to debate. That’s what engages readers.

      The writer who presents inconclusive evidence would be trashed in every business and scientific community. I’d like to present a new paradigm, as with science and business, so with art. Give your peers an objective we can chew over that make us think.

      Stop tossing literary variables that waste our time as readers. It’s a disservice to the intelligence of those of us would read your story. The literary market is limited, get off the high horse and use those storytelling and writing talents in service for the audience that wants to learn and read GOOD STORIES.

      Only writers recognize good writing. Everyone else just wants the story.


  2. Thanks for the wonderful review, Terri! I appreciate it! I’d heard somewhere (Barbara Kingsolver?) that the writer makes a promise to the reader in the first chapter–usually on the first page–and needs to keep it. I always read books looking for that promise…


  3. Alice Lynn says:

    I’ve read Pat Lichen’s Kidnapping the Lorax and loved every minute. The story pulled me along and, in the subtlest ways, informed me about how a forest functions, the interface of weather, humans, and the living environment. The characters are only too real which made me crazy wondering how it would all end. A super read.


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