Arianna's Blog

Come listen to the ramblings and assorted babblings of a crazed mother and newbie author. It might not always be helpful, but it should be amusing.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Cosmic Irony

After reading the comments about my reading addiction I had to laugh, apparently I'm not alone. Maybe we should form a self-help group? But then again, I don't think I really want to be "helped" I'm not using the rent money to buy my books--yet.

I noticed that most of the people who would be part of my 12-step program are also writers. That made sense, I mean you don't see many chef's who don't like to eat or vinters who don't like to drink, right? But it got me thinking. Do these other folks feel the same why I do when I read a book?

Before I started writing, I read everything I could get my hands on and for the most part enjoyed all of it. Occasionally I would find a book I wasn't thrilled with, but I couldn't explain why. Either it didn't hold my attention or I didn't like a character or something but I couldn't put my finger on exactly why it didn't satisfy me.

Now that I'm a writer I see more things. (Many of which I'm guilty of) I notice more about the character development, not that I just didn't like them for some reason but that they didn't grow through the book. Or I'll notice things about the plot--the ending was rushed (one of my big mistakes) or there were slow areas that weren't necessary to the plot of the story. I'm finding that I'm more critical of books now that I'm writing them too. I've found myself saying,
"Oh! My editor would NEVER let me get away with that!"

It's rather disconcerting. Who am I to judge someone elses book? After all, they got published, they must know something I don't know.
That's what I found cosmically ironic, the more I learned about the process and business of books, the less I'd been enjoying them!

THAT IS SO WRONG!!!! Bad girl, no candy bar for you!

I forced myself to stop thinking about books and just enjoy reading them. So what if the author switched point of view three times in one paragraph? If it worked who cares? I'm not her editor or her cp I don't have to clean it up, I can just enjoy it.

So that's what I'm doing. I'm reading like I used to, as a fan who's looking for a good story to take her away from a mundane life.

Has anyone else gotten too caught up in the "business" of books where they've missed the enjoyment of them?


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  • At 3:17 PM, Blogger Tina Gerow said…

    Ari: I'm with ya. I can't read paranormals of any variety without my author hat on. The "oh - that's how you would write that" or "My editor HATES that." But I've found that I can read regency or historical without the same issue. Probably because I will NEVER write one - because I can not conceive of researching which type of snaps/buttons/clasps a corsett had during X years. But I LOVE to read those - probably because I CAN still enjoy them as a reader.

  • At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There was a point where I used to get caught up and be critical of what I was reading. But now I just read for enjoyment. When I have time!

  • At 12:31 PM, Blogger Kris Starr said…

    You don't know how frustrating it is to read for pleasure nowadays. My editor hat keeps slipping back on my head...and it's horrid when it happens while reading a favourite author.

    "No, no! Cut this. This is awkward. Unnecessary. POV. Pacing..." Oy. D'you think we get permanently warped this way??


    ps. Snow. SNOW. S-N-O-W. Ssssnnnnoooowwww.

    How's that? See? I mentioned it. Hehehehe.

  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger harridan said…

    Reading for pleasure can be so difficult once you start learning to write your own stuff.

    And I really don't think it's our fault. How many times have you been told in the past to pick up a book you really enjoyed, then sit down and mark the passages you loved.

    Then on the other hand, to take a book you weren't quite pleased with, and hilite the areas that bothered you.

    All of a sudden that nasty internal editor is turned on every time you read anything, even newspaper articles. LOL

    The trick is to deprogram yourself (which Chey has managed but I have not.) I look forward to the day when I can forget everything else but the great story in my hands.

    What does chap my butt on occassions is being told by writer friends that I am being too picky when I read a story I really hate. Hey, editor on or not, I know magic when I read it. And crapola too. (grin) I threw books against the wall long before I started writing.

    Jewell (in my Harridan persona, LOL)


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