“It is a travesty that such a horribly written book is now a nation-wide best seller and being turned into a movie!!!” I am sure that many of us have thought this at one point or another. I have a few specific recent books that I have in mind, but my purpose of this post is not to debate, so I will not name them. Rather, my purpose is to discuss how reading others’ writing can be sometimes downright excruciating when you are a writer.
Before I became a writer and learned the craft, I was an oblivious reader and I loved it. I didn’t pay attention to the character development or the plot structure. I simply read a book and if all of these unknown pieces fit together in some sort of a collective understanding that interested me, I was good to go. And it became a “Wow, that was a great book! You have to read it!” kind of book.
Now that I am doing my own writing and overly conscious of plot structure and character development and the 500 other things you need to think about as a writer, I find myself looking for these characteristics in others’ writing. On one hand, it is a great exercise to be able to first know the good characteristics of writing and then to pull out examples in other writing. Those examples help to strengthen your own writing. On the other hand, it simply just takes the fun out of reading for me anymore. It’s hard for me to enjoy reading when I am constantly drawing a plot outline in my head and figuring out if overall, the book was written well. Like I’m a literary critic now or something. 🙂
Oh well. The only thing that consoles me in this perturbing matter is that I do have my favorite writers whom are just geniuses in my eyes and do no literary wrong. So I usually can relax and just enjoy those reads without having my literary police hat on.
If anyone else struggles with this, or would like to share their opinions of good and bad reads out there right now, I would love to hear from you!