It's the 1st Wednesday. Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts: Misha Gericke, LK Hill,Juneta Key, Christy and Joylene Buter!
This month's question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?
As a child, I was always being told to get my nose out of a book. I haven’t changed much. I still read a lot. For the past two years, I’ve joined the Goodreads Challenge. The first year, I my goal was to read 100 books. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as faithful logging in the books after I read them, or I just hadn’t read that many. Last year, I wasn’t as ambitious, so my goal was 75. I managed to finish 96. I only read at night or while waiting for appointments, on a plane, or in airports. Daytime is for writing.
With all those books, I’ve found excellent examples of what to do and what to avoid in my own writing. What to avoid: backstory dumps (my critique partner always nicks me on those); unnecessary details (the reader doesn’t need to know everything the writer does); and my “favorite”, ending the chapter with the main character going to sleep. What a subliminal suggestion—put down the book and go to sleep.
I discovered Tom Clancy after his book Patriot Games came out. That had to be his shortest. Intrigued, I started reading all his books. I learned to keep the story fast paced, leave the chapter on a cliff-hanger with one character and begin the next with a different character. Alternating scenes, leaving each character at a high point, made me keep reading. I had to find out what happened next. As his books got longer, I learned a lot about including unnecessary detail. Obviously, I’m not among his intended readers who like that.
Considering the steps I go through in perfecting my book before publishing, I’m amazed at the books that either haven’t been edited or the writer ignored the editor (or the editor wasn’t very good). The occasional typos or grammar error can creep in. But when I catch many, the book goes in my DNF pile. Why waste time on a book that the writer didn’t care enough to perfect?
Being a writer, perhaps I’m more critical than I used to be.
Apologies for being late. I've been playing with Toddler Girl and wasn't paying attention to the date.