Sunday, January 29, 2006


Reeading two novels right now in my not so spare time: Our Man in Havanna by Graham Greene and Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte. Both are good stories, well written.

But writing a novel sometimes ruins the reading of a good story. I start analyzing what I like and why, underline passages that are well written, and go back to them to determine what it is I like so much about that particular arrangement of words.

In the end it interferes with just reading for enjoyment. You can never read the first page of a novel the same way again...once you start writing.


Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

So true. But when I run into a book/film that makes me forget I'm a writer, that 'wows' me, that tells the story so beautifully, that at the end I realized I haven't 'critiqued' it, but just sat back and enjoyed it, that's when I know I've got a keeper in my hands.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Calhoun said...

I know the feeling. I'm reading, Comes a Horseman by Robert Liparulo. It is so intense that I haven't had time to critique it....moving too fast!

8:37 PM  
Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

Sharon and I used to read the first pages of books. That was our entertainment, going through her bookshelves and reading first pages, looking for wuzzes and adverbs.

That's really warped.

What's the Perez-Reverte book about, Sharon?

10:32 PM  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

'tis true. But I think, after a while, you can train the brain to read for pleasure and to read for the writing. But it takes a while!

4:42 AM  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thanks, ladies, for putting me at eaze. Since I have been making an attempt at serious writing, I don't enjoy even my trash westerns anymore. I've been thinking another part of me had spun away from the loop of normalcy.

Good post for discussion, Sharon.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

MG - remember when we went through the YA section and every book on the shelf was like cheesy chick-lit?

Those good old days.

6:35 PM  
Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

They are still all cheesy chit lits. That's the problem. You and I, Dana should be writing MG and YA for the Tipper Gore crowd.

1:01 AM  
Blogger M. C. Pearson said...

Here from M.G.'s blog...I understand that totally! I'm reading a friend's book but he doesn't want any critique because he has it in at an editor's right now and doesn't want to change anything. He just wants to know how I like it. I have to hit my hand holding the pen and say, "Down, girl!" It is SO hard!

10:29 PM  
Blogger Jaye Wells said...

I call this the Writer's Curse. You start writing because you love reading, but once you start writing is sucks the joy out of reading. The whole thing makes my head hurt. Kind of like trying to contemplate the idea of infinity.

Sometimes it helps to read something competely unrelated to the genre I write in. Books on tape are another idea. Then you aren't analyzing the words on the page.

Hi, I'm Jaye, by the way.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous kathie said...

Hi there, I know what you mean about ruining a read with endless and unstoppable analysis of the text at hand. Good luck with your novel. Keep us posted on your progress for sure...

3:36 PM  
Blogger R.J. Baker said...

You're right about the loss of flavor in reading. I'm with Jaye on the book-on-tape deal.

Since I started writing, it takes me 15 minutes a page because I am studying sentence structure and prose. The enjoyment is gone. I hope it comes back- I so love to read.

5:55 PM  

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