Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Insecure First Wednesday Anallat


Hallo fine peoples! Welcome to Insecure Writer's First Wednesday, and one month into the re-boot, known as the New Year.

So it's been a month of chaos... I did that old writing thing for a while. My buddy Tina-Sue and I holding each other accountable... but it all sort of fell to heck when the world did. So once again, back to it...

But as for this month's Insecure Post... the question is:

How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

The answer, at risk of sounding like a major moron, is bigly. Oops. Was than political? Sorry.

I still walk and read. That hasn't changed.
But to be honest, for a while it sort of ruined it for me. It used to be that I just loved a good story. It didn't matter if they broke writing rules, or hit a couple cliches, or pulled a deus ex machina. I was okay starting the story in a dream, or looking in a mirror. I actually liked adverbs. So for a while after learning the writing rule it was really disappointing to read all these bad books.

But you know what? They aren't actually all bad. The rule abiding writer sort notices, but if other readers don't then the book is FINE.

And then I sort of got into a perverse cycle of loving bad books because they taught me what not to do. I'm over that. Though I still advocate doing it for a while. Just not long enough to pick up any bad habits.

And for more than a year of learning to write mysteries I read only mysteries, and then learning to write YA I read only YA. Anymore I try to mix it up a bit. And I try to separate from the rules. But I am definitely a more critical reader than I used to be. I read a lot of fantasy because I don't write ANY fantasy. I'm more a puzzlemaster than a world maker. It allows me that domain to figure “fantasy just does that”. I want so badly to have reading as escapism still available to me, and that is where I've found it.

What about the rest of you? Has it made reading better? Worse? Just different? No different?

Go check out the other Insecure Writers!

18 comments:

Nick Wilford said...

It's a funny one about genre - sometimes I prefer reading a different genre to the one I'm writing because I want a break and I sometimes get intimidated by how good others are at my genre! I think there's lessons to be learnt from any genre, but I agree it's hard to switch off that writer mindset.

Jan Morrison said...

Hmmm... sometimes it does but oddly, if I notice that I'm reading, then I know the book isn't that good. When a book is very good - I don't think of anything but the story. Does that make sense? University really nearly ruined reading for me - especially as I was a Literature major. But I kept on and got it back - that magic moment when I disappear into a novel. Whew!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Reading different genres can teach you about your own, so that's a good thing.

Crystal Collier said...

I'm like you. There has definitely been an evolution, but overall, it just increases my appreciation when something is done very well...and when it's done with extreme love.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Even though I tend to write dark fiction and horror, I do read across the board, including mysteries and historical fiction and contemporary fiction, all in both adult and YA categories. I find it all helps with my own writing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't want to pick up any more bad habits. I have enough of my own.
Fantasy is one of my favorite genres for that very reason.

Andrew Leon said...

I've been pretty hard to please with books since I was around 20 or so; writing didn't change that.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I read all sorts of genres and I think it helps my writing. All stories need a little world building even if it's small town, USA, or a space station. All stories need to have suspense and mysteries. And relationships can make or break a book. I think I'm a pickier reader since becoming a writer but that's not all bad.

Chrys Fey said...

I don't pay attention to certain rules like for adverbs with my own writing, so I don't pay attention to them when I'm reading. It makes reading and writing more fun. But grammar mistakes and head-hopping drive me bonkers.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

learning from the mistakes of others is actually a great reason to read terrible books!

Rhonda Gilmour said...

Hello, Hart. I enjoyed your post bigly. I get a kick out of noticing writers who break "the rules" and still create riveting stories. J.A. Jance is one of my favorite examples: she'll pause the narrative for lengthy blobs of backstory. The thing is, those backstory bits are interesting, and make me care more about what's happening to these characters.

dolorah said...

A mediocre book will bring out the writing editor in me. I can still sometimes just lose myself in a book. A really good book. Even a poorly written one will capture me with a good plot and awesome characters. I read in a variety of genre's too.

Wow, you can read and walk at the same time? You're talented :)

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Hart! I read whatever appeals to me in a number of genres. Because of all the writing I have done over the years, I do tend to be aware of how well a book is written, and often I'll reread parts or all of a book just to learn more about writing, and sometimes just to appreciate the author's craft. A book still sweeps me away, and fantasy is one of my favorite genres. Happy reading and writing!

Misha Gericke said...

I have it worse than you. My brain goes into seek and destroy mode for stories regardless of genre. :-D

Arlee Bird said...

I probably should read more bad books. In fact, reading any books would be good. I haven't been reading books of late. Now, blog posts? That's another thing.

If an author is telling an engrossing story then I probably am not noticing many errors.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Powdered Toast Man said...

I've been reading a whole lot of Dr. Seuss. That man came rhyme the shit out of anything. What was he a Doctor of anyway?

Helena said...

First off--sorry that once again I'm SO LATE in commenting!

Second--I've found that more than anything it's my job that has messed up some of my reading, and that's because I do some editing of reports. So I've become so freaking conscientious of punctuation that I SEE IT ALL THE TIME! I am sick to death of obsessing over commas.

As far as my reading goes--I don't so much switch genres as authors. Right now I'm reading James Lee Burke, and he's such a beautiful stylist and sharp observer of people that I'm hooked forever.

Ellie Garratt said...

A so-so book will sidetrack me - my internal editor gets out her talons. A truly great book will make forget I'm a writer.