On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Writers Reading

Yes, after you start seriously writing and learning technique, it reaches a point when you start editing in your head when you read or listen to books. This particularly strikes me when listening, and I usually do minor adjustments to the sentences in my head so they flow better. And yes, the pleasure of reading, of sinking into a story has dimmed. And yes, books that you thought were fabulous before you started writing don't seem as nearly as good because you can see errors that could easily have been fixed to make it a better story -- I'm talking big stuff here, like motivation and depth of character.

So, be warned, writing will change you. It will change you in many ways, but it will also strip some reading pleasure from your life.



Blogger moonhart said...

I absolutely agree, Robin. Writing has raised the bar in my reading material. There are VERY FEW books out there that can suck me in to the point of silencing my inner editor.

I recently read a paranormal comedy that made me cringe. Why? Because some things should have been cut. One section, in particular, served no purpose in furthering the story other than showing the reader that the author was being clever.

Now, since I write comedy, I know how tempting that sort of thing can be. I understand it. But I also understand how to fix it. That ruined the rest of book because it took me out of the story. Instead of sinking deeper into the characterizations or plot, I started wondering who let this slide? The CPs? The editor? Or was this something that the author insisted on because she thought it was "cute?"

For me, I know that my CP's would never let that happen. And I have trained myself to be brutally objective when dealing with "cleverness" specifically because that is such an easy trap to fall into.

I am sure this wasn't what the author intended, but to me that section came off self-serving.

On the up side, when a book DOES totally suck me in, I sing its praises to the heavens.


12:10 PM  
Anonymous Danica said...

It's interesting, because on one hand, I am so much more critical of what I read, and on the other hand, I can still enjoy some of the really really bad romances of the past where they're completely contrived.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Moonhart, when I realized I would have to cut a lot from Heart Thief I was nearly sick...so what I decided to do was to put a "Worlds" page up with scenes I loved but couldn't keep. I don't think I ever got every scene up, but some of the ones I really liked...and it helped me "get over" the notion that I couldn't "keep" a scene.

Danica, some of my books stand the test of time, of course. In fact, a lot of them do, but it hurts a bit to remember a book and go back and not have it satisfy you...


6:55 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

I enjoy your insights.
This topic is a first for me.
As a reader, I don't think about the reverse order of things.
Thanks for the view.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Michele, thanks for dropping by!


6:36 PM  

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