PSA: The grammar here is atrocious. I’m going to strongly suggest… 😀 … that you kindly disregard it. Ya see here… I was writing for hours on my book before this & that requires being grammar conscious.. and it’s a royal pain. I’m all grammar’d out and I don’t have it in me. — I will start sentences with and, put commas and periods where they do not belong and……. all sorts of other nonsense that is frowned upon. — Please, ignore my sloppiness. You guys are the best. 😀
I learn a lot from other authors. I learn from reading… which I truly believe is one of the best ways to learn about writing.
The other day I tried a new author. And it was this author’s first book.
As someone writing a first… it pains me to read first books by new authors and pick it apart. Because I know… I knooowwww… the work, the time, the sweat, and tears… all of it. I live it. It’s heart wrenching to know people are going to pick your work apart and find flaws in something you’ve created and come to love very much. — But that’s the name of this game. People will read your work as an author and they will judge it. Good or bad… one way or the other… they’ll feel some sort of way about it and that’s their right. —
But as a writer… it makes it much more difficult for me. I feel bad judging someone else’s work when I didn’t like something. I want to like it all. But that’s just not the case. That’s not how it works and at the end of the day… I can also learn a lot from books that I didn’t like or that I found flaws in. — Sure… I know people will find flaws and issues in my work… and that makes me feel like a hypocrite… hence the reason I probably feel so bad when I don’t like something. —- Which is what happened with this book.
I tried it because it was suggested and I knew it was a first time author and I wanted to see what that read like… because typically I’m reading books by authors that have published a multitude of books… and that’s always going to be a different kind of read.
So throughout what I read of it… the author kept telling me that the main character was sarcastic and was a bit of a smart mouth. There were several times where that was expressed and eventually I went.. You keep telling me, but it’s not in the dialogue and it’s not in her thoughts and it’s not in her actions. It’s not here anywhere. — She wanted me to know her character was sarcastic but if she had never told me that… I would have never known.
And I immediately thought…. don’t do that. Make sure that if I tell readers something about my character and it’s a huge part of their personality…. that they’ll see it throughout the book. They’ll see it in the dialogue, actions, and inner thoughts. If my character has sarcastic tendencies… let there be no room for doubt. If one character doesn’t get along with another…. make sure the reader can see the tension and that it doesn’t come across like they’re best buds. Things like that. Making sure everything matches up and balances out… Everything has to carry over just right all the way through… it can be a fine line! Lemme tell ya! —
Now I didn’t like the book. To be fair… I don’t think I was the right target for it. I really don’t. But at the same time… it really did help me to pay attention to things I don’t want to do with my own work. — One of the other things was that it moved very fast and didn’t really go in hard. I didn’t feel like I got enough information or got to know anything about anything before we had moved on to another scene. — and I immediately said, don’t do that. Don’t linger too long… but also.. let my readers get to know my characters and what’s happening and get a feel for each and every scene. Even short ones. Create depth… I want people to turn the page having known exactly what I did about what was happening. Clear & concise… not just sort of brushing over it where you feel like you kinda missed something, but you aren’t sure what. —
& y’all I feel like a jerk for saying that about some one else’s hard work. I really do. & I know she was trying to move the story along to get to the good stuff… but I believe that all of the smaller parts in between the big ones matter just as much as the big ones. If you gloss over them quickly and with very little depth you miss out on so many opportunities for character and story building. You also run the risk of leaving readers like me… feeling like they’ve missed something.
There’s so much to learn from the work of other author’s… even when it’s mistakes or problems. And as much as I hate to find issues with a new authors work… because I know the tides shall turn someday… y’all.. ya girl ain’t no fool. 😉 — When there are issues… those are things I can learn from. So I do.
I feel like a jerk when I’m doing it though… so there’s that. 😉
I gotta tell y’all bout what just happened…
About a month ago I started writing every day.. I still write every day, just so ya know.. that hasn’t stopped.
Because of that I write way more often, obviously, and I’m better at it. I genuinely believe that writing, in a lot of cases, is a God-given talent. It’s no different from the singer or the painter or the musician. It’s art, just like all the rest. Anyone has the ability to write, and that’s great, but I do believe that God gives some people an extra special ability to do so.
Just like I can sing… but you probably don’t want to hear it. While I’m capable of it, I was certainly not gifted with the ability to do it very well.
My husband can paint and he has real talent. Me? Ha! He’ll show me sometimes, like early on in the painting and try to explain what it’s going to be and how it’s going to come together.. and I’m like… I don’t get it. — He’ll say, you have to envision it… and I’m standing there like… Nope, I got nothing. — Because I’m not a painter.
I’m a writer.
I’ve struggled to stay consistent with writing and that has affected its quality. Writing is like any art. If you don’t do it very often, you’re going to be rusty at it and it’s going to show. With any art, not just writing. The more you do it, the better you are at it.
Here’s what happened…..
I downloaded a book earlier and started reading… I was stumbling through paragraph after paragraph because my brain was thinking like a writer, not a reader.
All I could see was sentence structure, the various tenses, how the author wove her words and sentences together, and the detail in her work. All I could see was how it was strung together…. and I realized it was because I’ve been so immersed in writing lately that my mind was reading like a writer, rather than a reader.
I have a God-given talent that I haven’t utilized the way I should have over the years. So it’s been pretty rusty when I did bust it out sporadically.
However because I’ve been using it so much lately it’s improved in a thousand different ways. One of which means I’m going to have to make an effort to put aside thinking like a writer when I’m reading.
I’ve never had that happen before. Sometimes stuff would jump out at me and I would think, oh that’s good, I like what he or she did there. — This was different.
This was… I didn’t even know what I had read because all I was seeing was how it was put together. So I’m going to have to figure out how to shut that off, cause ya girl here likes to read. 😀
I just thought I would share that with you guys. Every day I feel more like the writer I’m meant to be… and I like it. And since this blog was always intended to be about my writing journey… seems fitting to mention it.
Writing Challenge: If you were forced to spend the rest of your life in a library, a museum, or a zoo, which one would you choose and why?
Easiest decision ever. Library.
I don’t even really have to think about that one.
I love museums, I’m a huge history buff. The zoo is a really cool place, I enjoy going. Library’s though… those are amazing.
While at the library, I can easily read books about history, animals, and anything else that my heart desires. And boy does my heart desire books, Lol.
There is not a place that I can’t go while at the library. Anywhere, anything… it’s up for grabs.
I can go back in time, I can go to the future, or I can simply stay in the present & spend time experiencing millions of amazing & diverse moments.
I can go to so many different lands of imagination… from stories that take place in completely fictional worlds, realms, and universes to stories that are grounded in today’s reality.
Books hold more than just mere words strung together to form sentences, paragraphs, and pages. — They are full of life and character. You can go so many places, experience so many wonders, and enjoy every moment of it. — There’s nothing like it. — Simply put, there is nothing like getting lost in a book. — It is it’s very own perfection.
I am always baffled when someone says they don’t like reading. I’m thinking to myself, how in the world could you not? Lol!
So…. the library it is for me! 🙂
I have to be honest. I don’t know what to do. I mean this is serious business.
I need to clean the living room. I need to read a book. ( I mean honestly, I’m right in the middle of it, It’s good.)
Only I can’t do both at the same time. What I really need is for someone to come read to me while I clean. — Best of both worlds if you ask me! (Except the cleaning part… I find that there is nothing “best worthy” about that at all…ever, lol.)
If I’m being completely honest with myself & every one else right now…. this living room isn’t getting cleaned tonight. — I just don’t have the will power to put the book down. I’m weak…. & I’m woman enough to admit it too, Lol.
If only I had my very own personal reader…..
However, since I’m the only reader I have, I think it’s going to be book tonight, living room tomorrow night. 🙂
Benjamin Franklin once said: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” — But I think it’s missing a little something: “But if you can only do one of two things today… pick the fun one!” 🙂
The last time I blogged I mentioned that I was issuing myself a challenge to read every book I had & finish all the ones I started before buying any new ones. — Because honestly, I have a lot of them. I don’t recall the number at the moment, but it was somewhere around 30 something at least. — Anyhow, quick update on that… I failed.
Totally and completely failed.
I do believe it was the very next day actually. I probably broke some sort of record.
The overwhelming urge to search for a new book hit me, I did it, I found one that sounded really good, and I just couldn’t stop myself. — In fact, a couple of weeks after that I even hit up the used book store in town… I mean, do I even have to tell you what a gold mine that is to a book lover like myself? Lol.
In my defense, tho I failed my little challenge, I did in fact end up reading a good little portion of the books I already had. Probably about 7 or so. Lol, 7 or so & most of the new ones I bought…. in a months time. — Lol, someone reads a lot… when she should be writing instead.. 🙂 —
Anyhow, I still plan to finish all of the ones I have. Maybe just a little slower than I originally planned.
Lol, slow & steady! 🙂
I am about to attempt something crazy… quite possibly unheard of, even.
I have just cleaned up my Kindle app & dismissed the books that I’ve already completed. That’s when I noticed it. — There are 48 unread/half-read books still lingering about. 48. That’s nearly 50! (Lol, look at me stating the obvious.) & If I’m correct… I do believe I have exactly 4 unfinished paper back novels sitting around the house. — Somebody needs to read the books she already has before she purchases more… Lol. (Haha, don’t tell my husband I have quite so many… he’ll give me the look. lol The “you spent all that money on those books & haven’t read them?… Wait a minute, I just watched you buy a new book the other day! What are you, some sort of book hoarder… that doesn’t even read the books?!” Look. — (Funny how so much can be said in just one look! — 🙂
So, I’m going to attempt what?
That crazy thing that may actually prove to be quite difficult for me.
I’m going to try & read all the books I already have… before getting another one!
I know that must seem like a pretty easy thing to do. It’s just I have this bad habit of scrolling around & seeing books that look interesting…. soooo, naturally I get it & then I’m already so interested in this new story I’ve found I put the current one down & forget to go back to it later. I’m so easily distracted, Lol! — Ya know, really, that’s just a compliment to all the authors that write so great they hook me & real me in before I even have a chance to stop myself. Lol, see…. it’s not even my fault. — They shouldn’t write so well & then I wouldn’t have this problem! 😉
Now in my defense, several of the books that are half-read were probably left unfinished because it turned out not to be my thing. — It happens. Those I will probably just never read. & truthfully, some of them were most likely free in the genre I was checking out that day & I got it to try it out. — Sometimes that works out. I can’t tell you how many times I bought a free or discounted book & loved it so much I ended up buying & reading a ton of those authors books afterwards. — I love when that happens. — Unfortunately, sometimes it goes the other way. — So some of these books will go in the never to be finished category. — But not most of them. Lol, I paid for these bad boys… I’m going to read them! (Not to mention that most of them that I started were good, I just got a wee bit distracted.. 🙂 )
So…. we shall see how it goes.
I am challenging myself. — No new books until I’ve read the ones I have.
(This should be interesting….. )