WRITING AND READING

WRITING AND READING

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My guest today is debut author, Lavinia Kent. She’s written a hot new Historical that’s been called “sexy and emotional experience that will sweep you off your feet!” and “an intense romance … it’s a steamy story – but also a beautiful one showing the redeeming power of love.”

I saw the cover, read the blurb and excerpt, (there is a link at the bottom of the Bio to read the excerpt) and knew it was one I wanted to read. It’s now proudly sitting on my To Be Read pile.

Lavinia touches on something that many writers and authors have noticed when reading as new books. How do you turn off the automatic editing/critiquing witch and just get lost in the book? Is that forever gone now that we’re writers?

I’ve just started reading one of this summer’s buzz books. A friend who said, “it was the book of the year” for her, gave it to me. I must admit it’s pulled me right in, but I still having a hard time really enjoying it.

Why?

It’s certainly is a wonderful book, every bit as good as I was told.

It’s even my type of book – a smart and sexy historical.

So what’s the problem?

I can’t stop reading it as a writer. I keep find myself analyzing sentence structure and thinking about plot devices. I am not doing this because the author didn’t do well. I am doing it because I want to understand and learn; to try and figure out what she’s doing and whether it’s something I would want to do. I examine how much description there is, how the dialogue tags work, how she manages to work description of the character’s emotions into the dialogue without losing the pacing. It’s all fascinating, but it definitely keeps me from enjoying the narrative the way I used to. It’s hard to get swept away by passion when examing word choice.

My problem is that I didn’t set out to do this. I just wanted to lie back and enjoy a great book. Instead, I am thinking about characterization and plotting.

I never used to be this way. It used to be that all that mattered was whether or not I enjoyed a book. I didn’t care about the whys. Now, it’s almost impossible for me to read without thinking about these things.

Oh, I can get swept away and not think about it for an hour or so, but then the very fact that I was swept away causes me to go back and think about the text. It’s a vicious circle.

I learn a lot by doing this, but I’d give even more to be able to go back to the complete absorption that I used to experience.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love reading. It’s one of my favorite things in the world. I am one of those people who could probably spend her whole life sitting on the beach with a cold drink and a book. I don’t get bored. I just get relaxed.

But it’s rarely the same as it used to be. I am always analyzing and thinking. I sometimes think the better the book; the more I try to figure out why. I often have to reread books before I can just sit back and enjoy them.

Does anybody else have this problem? Am I destined to spend my life thinking about why words work instead of just enjoying them?

Does anybody have the number for Critiquing Anonymous?

Come join the discussion Over Coffee http://siamckye.blogspot.com/

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