Frustrations of a Reading Writer

There is a little bump in the reading road when you transition from a pure reader to a writing reader. Suddenly you see in published works all the glaring errors that have been pointed out in your own. You see all the rules the authors have broken. And you lose your joy in reading.

I’m pretty much over this glitch. I love reading too much to let writing steal my love of books and story. And while there still may be a writing glitch that makes me frown as I read, I can generally overlook it.

Generally.

Recently I picked up a book (not an author I know and not an author in the Christian market) that I’d been excited to read. The history and story immediately pulled me in, though right away I had a little trouble figuring out whose story it was because the POV switched often, not with a break in story or chapter but sometimes from paragraph to paragraph! Still, there were things that interested me, so I read on. I read on only to be further frustrated by POV characters that only showed up once in the story, just to impart information. And a shocking lack of commas throughout. And a very important physical deficiency of (what I finally figured out was) the main character, which the reader wasn’t told about until 3/4 of the way through the book!Β Honestly, reading this book felt like reading very first novel I ever wrote, when I didn’t know that doing the above stated things constituted poor writing skills. It had story, but little else.

Yet the most frustrating thing about this book wasn’t really all the writing issues. It was the fact that I kept reading because I liked the story. I liked most of the characters. I wanted to know how it turned out.

I enjoyed the story but hated the book, if that makes sense.

For me as a reader, a great story is a good thing. A great story told well is even better. But a great story told with great writing is, well, utter bliss.

Β 

9 comments on “Frustrations of a Reading Writer

  1. I hear you! There was a time when I finished almost every book I started, unless it got really horribly offensive. That time is no more. If the writing is not good enough to keep me from getting pulled out of the story by the author’s mistakes, I will quit. Life is too short and the book stack too tall!

    • I’m usually the same way, Katherine, which is why I was uber-frusterated with this book! I hated the writing but the story and characters had so gripped me I had to know what happened in spite of the writing. That almost never happens!

  2. Anne, I thought I was the only one with this problem and I am not an author. I have found it hard to put books down, but there’s nothing worse that having to battle through a book. I am bad to just stick with my favorite authors for this reason. There have been times I’ve discovered a new to me author though. Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings

    • You are welcome! πŸ™‚

      I won’t “battle through” a book anymore when Ithe story or the characters don’t grip me, but I will for a story that has merit even when the writing of it leaves much to be desired!

  3. Yes! I agree totally. A couple of times, the great story has overshadowed the issues I’ve found within the book, although it’s pure magic when I find a book that has the great story and no issues. πŸ™‚

    • It isn’t often I can overlook the errors for a good story like I did with this one. In the end, it was worth it, but I definitely wouldn’t reread. Too frustrating!

      Always lovely to find other like-minded readers, Carrie! πŸ™‚

  4. I found this blog post on pinterest and opened it because I connected with the subject line. I knew I recognized your name from somewhere, but I couldn’t place it…until I saw your books on the side of this page. I recently read Wings of a Dream and LOVED it! It remains one of the high points of my reading list so far this year which is a big deal because, as you just mentioned, reading books with the mind of a writer steals much of your joy.
    I’m in the process of putting the finishing touches on my debut novel. Earlier this year, I began the editing phase and quickly discovered that my book wasn’t the only one in need of editing πŸ˜‰ I’ve read some that needed grammar touch ups and this annoyed me, but didn’t turn me off. My biggest complaints were when the plot or character development was weak…or the emotion lacking…or the dialog was just plain weird.
    It’s been refreshing to know that I don’t suffer alone. In the meantime, I’m learning from the mistakes of others. Sometimes it’s easier to be annoyed with someone else. After I finish a book that I don’t like, I mentally list off the reasons why I believe it fell short then I turn around and apply the same critique to my own writing. Am I guilty of the same sins? I’ve learned a lot and have improved in my own writing. Now with that being said, some will love my book and some will tear it apart. πŸ™‚ During this season of terrible reads, I’ve learned that our styles are so vastly different that every author will have a fan base of some sort. What some love, others will always hate. And since I haven’t enjoyed the work that others raved about, I feel like I have the permission to gain negative reviews and not allow it to damage my spirit. πŸ™‚ Happy Reading!!

    • Welcome! So glad you clicked through–and that you enjoyed Wings of a Dream! πŸ™‚

      Congrats on getting to that editing phase. You have a great attitude and eye toward that–one I don’t always see in aspiring writers. You are very right. There are many books I hate that others loved, and vice versa. And it frees me up to shrug off bad reviews, because my books aren’t for every reader, just like I’m not the reader for every book.

      Thank you so much for connecting! You really encouraged me today! πŸ˜‰

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