I like to keep my options open and often times, my reading is ruled by my moods. Reading has always been a big part of my life and it is where I find solace in the craziness of the world. When I was younger and had more time, I reveled in these escapes. For me it was better than watching a movie. I felt more connected to the pages of a book where I could imagine the scenery and the characters and make them exactly as I saw them in my head. I thought it was better than watching TV.
Now, that I’m pursuing my writing dreams, I don’t have as much time to read. Well not because I’m writing, but because I’m older and have more responsibilities and obligations that often require my full attention and unfortunately reading often takes a back seat to everything else that needs to be done first.
But, here’s the thing, in order to write better, I have to read. Not only to get ideas and inspiration, and learn about style and flow and all that great stuff, but also to remind myself what readers love about reading in the first place– readers read for the pure love and pleasure of the story.
The story is the vehicle that transports the reader to the world that the writer just created. Without a good story, even good writing practices, like perfect grammar can fall flat. The story is the life of the book.
I know, you’re probably saying, “Uh yeah! That’s a no brainer.” Yes, this is something that all writers are aware of, but sometimes, it is the most basic thing that needs to be brought up, so that people can be reminded.
I was recently reminded of this because, I promised to do a review of a book. I figure I have a little bit of free time right now and can read a short book pretty quickly. Well, here’s the thing… as I’m reading this book, I am looking at it strictly from a reader’s perspective and removing that writer side of me from the equation.
How’s it going? Well, reader-me is having an incredibly hard time reading. Why? Because, often times, I can’t tell whose character perspective I’m reading from. I feel like I’m jumping from one head to another and although, I’ve gotten used to it, I’m still struggling, especially when there’s dialogue.
This is really unfortunate because had I not promised to review, I would have probably put down the book chapters ago! But the one thing that is saving my attention from completely wandering is this –there is an interesting story that is building beneath all the head jumping. At this point, I feel committed to seeing it through… and so, I read on.
As a reader, I think there’s a lot of things I can overlook and imperfections I can forgive because for me it is about the story. Does the author’s tale have the ability to take me away to another place and make me live the lives of his or her characters? If the answer is YES, then I’m captured and I’ll be a fan, and I’ll buy all your books without even reading your blurb
Sometimes it’s good to step back and see things from the other side
Happy reading, happy writing