So I hope I don't have too many readers on feed, LOL, because this post is a bit haywire, today!
Yesterday, I read a book in one day. What a treat! I used to do that on a daily basis, but nowadays, it's so hard to find the time. I feel like I'm working two full-time jobs.
I've been thinking a lot lately about that wonderful book by Francine Prose, called Reading Like a Writer. In it, she covers a lot of the territory that we should be thinking about while reading. She delights in digging into the nitty gritty of sentences and paragraphs, of details and dialogue.
She recommends reading slow.
I have learned so much from that approach, and will continue to. It got me to thinking, though. Bernita mentioned awhile ago that she read fast the first time through to get the overall arc and pacing of the story. (Relying on my memory, here, so forgive any inaccurate paraphrasing.)
I think she's right. In order to understand the structure of a novel, you either need to outline it and break it down, or read it fast. Reading it fast is quicker, and we all know we have so little time. There's always a large stack of TBR's, not to mention the work our WIPs need.
But as I was working on my latest WIP, I realized that we need to also learn how to read like a reader. When we sit down and read through our own manuscript, whether it be a long run-through or just yesterday's work, we have to be able to hold in our head how much we have revealed to the reader. In fact, we need to read it as if we were an curious reader with no preconceptions.
That's challenging when the words start to glaze over. Sure, putting it away helps, but I never have time for that. Maybe a day. An evening. Somehow we've got to force those fresh eyes and that innocent mind.
And while we look for dialogue and technique and sentences and paragraphs while we read other writers, we have to shut off that sort of reading when looking at our own manuscripts. Maybe not all the time, but at least a few times so that we know what the reader is experiencing while reading our manuscript.
Once in awhile, it's nice to shut that part of ourselves off while reading a book, too. Just reading to read, just for our pleasure. Sitting back with a book. No thinking, just relaxing.
Forgive all mistakes above, please. Three drinks and a nice meal, and I'm off to bed. So nice to not work, even if it's only for four hours after an eleven hour workday. What has my life become, when I think getting 'done' at 7:45 is a big treat? Ah well, just had to finish my half-finished accidental post, LOL.
Happy reading, all!