READING AS A WRITER

July 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm 2 comments

I’ve always been an avid reader to the point where it’s almost an obsession. I cannot remember the last time I was not in the process of reading a book. If I go anywhere where there is the slightest chance of waiting, I feel naked if I do not bring a book along.
I’m sure most writers would agree that being a compulsive reader is a prerequisite for being a writer.

What I would like to discuss in this piece is how the appreciation of the book I am reading has changed. I began writing fiction approximately twelve years ago, and since then I have noticed that the qualities I look for in a book are different. Before I became a writer I was just appreciating the story at face value. Now I look for much more.

Now, when I read a book I look for character development. I look for descriptions of the character and how this sometimes leads to overwriting of the book. I will discuss this in an upcoming piece giving examples. Plot is something I examine, wondering if the author outlined the story or if events occur which the author did not see coming. In my writing, I sometimes use a dynamic outline with nothing cast in stone. I also have events occur that are created during the writing process.

Another quality I look for in a story is background information to explain details in the story. In science fiction, horror and fantasy not everything needs to be explained, nor should it be. But there comes a point where some background is necessary.

These are some of the changes I have in mind when reading. I wonder if other writers
approach a story differently since they began writing.

Entry filed under: OBSERVATIONS & OPINIONS, READERS AND WRITERS FORUM, Walt Trizna, WALT'S OBSERVATIONS, WALT'S OPINIONS. Tags: , .

THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD by H.P. LOVECRAFT GEORGE R. R. MARTIN VS JIM BUTCHER, PADDING VS ACTION

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. whithershalliwander  |  September 6, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    An interesting post. I wonder whether you feel this impacts on your enjoyment? Sloppiness stands out for me: repetition of ideas, clumsy sentences and bits of background information the author was desperate to let their readers know they invented but which don’t belong in the story.

    Reply
    • 2. walttriznastories  |  September 6, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      Thanks for your comment.
      You might want to read my piece comparing the work of George R.R. Martin and Jim Butcher.
      I’m sure most writers are guilty of the faults you mentioned. That’s why God created editors.
      But in this day and age editors are a dying breed. Self-publishing has also contributed to a hefty amount
      of sloppiness along with a handful of gems.

      Reply

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