Saturday, April 20, 2013

R: Reading as a Reader

As writers I think sometimes we get so caught up in the process of editing and critiquing (our own and others' works) that we forget to just enjoy reading.

I am extremely guilty of this. I found myself making comments on a book that was published over 20 years ago. Ahem - let me clarify, I was commenting in my head, not aloud like a crazy person!
But I was correcting grammar, some POV issues, etc., when it hit me that I can't enjoy books anymore! Seriously! If I spend my time critiquing and mentally editing books as I read them, I cannot enjoy the story that is being told!

I stopped, took a step back, and reminded myself that when I write, I am a writer; but when I read, I need to be a reader.

When I send a ms out to people for critiquing and editing, I expect them to change, fix, and suggest on everything! That's just how it works. But when I send it out to people who are readers, I expect them to enjoy the story. Most of the people who are "readers" tend to not even notice the little things that my critique group noticed. And then I realize, I'm writing this for readers, not for writers! Don't get me wrong, writers are readers too, but we have to put aside the writer part of us to really enjoy reading!

So I stop correcting the book in my head. I ignored the moment an author started a chapter in the afternoon and then switched it to morning, by accident, a few pages later. And I head jumped with all the POV changes, doing my best to keep up. And guess what happened? I found that despite all the flaws I saw as a "writer", as a "reader" I absolutely loved the story!



3 comments:

  1. The better written the book, the less my inner editor rears her head.

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  2. It is difficult not to see all the mistakes in books when you're a writer. I have learned that no book is free of mistakes in editing. Older books often seem to follow different rules than we're forced to today.

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    1. That's very true Susan. The book I was reading followed absolutely none of the POV rules we seem to have today. But I have to remember, the rules were not always the same as they are now, so I let it go and followed along as best I could :)

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