Wednesday, October 19, 2011

To read or not to read...

I recently read a book.

A book I neglected house and sleep to read.

A book about zombies. The characters included a nerd, with big boobs, a jock with all the brains of...a nut, and a foreigner.  Written in omniscient, I didn't care who died and who lived, but I needed to know who eventually would meet that fate.  It was a burning desire...yeah, cliche as it all sounds, to know.

The plot came out of Resident Evil mixed with more Resident Evil. A virus made to save a child that ultimately doomed the rest of us.

So why couldn't I stop reading? 

My writer brain rolled my eyes at the inevitability of where the story was going, while the reader in me kept chugging along. It wasn't a bad read, not for me.

So, my partners in crime, my question you separate the writer from the reader when reading? Or does breaking too many writing rules (only writers know about) deter you from an enjoyable read?


  1. I know what you mean. When I read, I stop writing and try to emerse myself in the story. When I'm writing, I can't read.

  2. I try not to let it~ ideally the narrative is so good that little things don't bother me (like one or two typos) because I'm reading with my imagination, not my brain. When I'm not engaged, however, I think my brain awakens and wants to nitpick everything to find out why. It's happened more in the last few years as I've been actually studying the craft of writing. Thoughtful post!

  3. It's hard to shut the writer part down. Either because I cringe at the bad craft or I'm so in awe of the exceptional writing. Now I cherish I good book I can lose myself in and turn off the writer part of my brain.

  4. I sometimes acknowledge the rule-breaking and say, "So what? It's a good story!" Who made up all these rules anyway? Some of my favorite authors are notorious rule-breakers.

  5. I try to not read "critically," meaning I;'m not necessarily looking for typos or grammatical errors. However, if these problems are many and start interfering with the read, I have to stop.

    Here's the thing, if i can't trust the writer's grammatical skills, there's no way I can trust them to write a competent novel (story, plot, characters, etc).

    Time is precious, you know?

  6. I'm lucky enough not to read with a writer's eye. When I pick up a book I read it for the pure joy it gives me. I really hope I never lose this, it'll take the fun out of reading something entirely.

    Anthony, I agree with you 100%.

  7. I read books for entertainment, fiction I mean. In that respect unless it's blaringly bad writing, I can shut off the writer part and just enjoy the entertainment. Like watching a Romedy. You pretty much know where it's going but it's nice to veg out the brain for a bit.

  8. Hahaha! Brains of a nut? I used to whip out the editor in my and tear the published book apart once upon a time. Now I don't care, I just read for enjoyment. That author worked hard to get it to where it's at, s/he doesn't need more. S/he's published, right?

    I'd rather curl up and enjoy.

    Fun post!


    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?

    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell releases October 31st!

  9. I just finished a book that could have been really good but I think of it as mediocre because of mistakes like a 6-month forming and speaking perfect sentences. Actually, it only happened once but it still irks me. There were a couple of other similar mistakes, and I think these things irritate any reader.

  10. Sometimes it's hard to shut the writer down and just enjoy the read. Especially by the sounds of a book like that! (I laughed at your description!) I use to be able to read anything, but not these days. I'm more of a critic and my time is limited. I have to put down the bad ones.

  11. Weirdly enough, I find it far easier to switch off my inner writer when reading than when watching films :-)

  12. LOL... Reading is my escape, while writing is my passion. I think that as long as I'm reading my "writer brain" shuts off to give me the escape that I need. But as soon as I'm done reading a story that writer brain flips back into action, and sometimes just can't help screeching in my ear "seriously! You couldn't see where that was going?!?"

    I enjoyed this vent session... Until next time!

  13. It is hard to separate who you are: writer vs reader. And it's also nice to enjoy a good read just for the moment. =) Dare I's a subjective business.

    Thanks for all your comments.

  14. I've been told I'm strange, but I can enjoy a book as a reader and writer at the same time. Enjoying the story and marvelling at the writing.


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