Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gotta Love it...Reading

I’m in the throes of editing my WIP, The Chloe Chronicles, working on the first draft of another WIP, entertaining the kids for the summer, completing class assignments for school and reading.

I listed reading last because it’s something of an obsession of mine. I take breaks but not much. I read something almost everyday but it’s not enough (at least for me). So I’m trying to streamline my daily routine so that I can read like a normal person.

Usually what happens is, I find a book I love, and then I stay up all night reading it. It throws me off for days, which means, I don’t sleep, but I can’t keep doing this.

So, I’ll devote the maximum of 2 hours for reading each day – no more. No matter how good the book is. No matter how much I want to know what happens next. I won’t stay up all night reading and obsessing over what the characters will do next. I won’t daydream about the characters while I’m supposed to be writing. I’ll read the book at a good pace. Once I’m finished reading, I’ll move on to the next book without breaking down every aspect of what I’ve just read.

LOL Who am I kidding. I can’t do any of that! I’ll still obsessively read. I’ll finish every book with 48 hours. I’ll then deconstruct what I’ve read like a million times. I’ll daydream about the protagonist and try to think of news ways to get them out of danger or in more of it. And I’ll lament over not thinking of the concepts in the book myself.

But you know what, its okay to do this. I think as a writer I’m supposed to do this (maybe not the no sleep part). As writers, we are required to breakdown the novels we read – in and out of our genre – to see what works and what doesn’t. We should have certain questions in mind while we read so that we can learn from everything we read.

Some questions that you should ask yourself when reading:

  • What was my first impression of the story? Why?

  • What is the theme(s) of the story?

  • What literary devices did the author use to make the story more believable or memorable?

  • Do I like the voice in the novel? Is it unique? Why?
  • How is the pacing of the story?

  • Where is the inciting incident? What is the structure of the novel?

  • What POV is the story told from? Is it the best for the novel?
These are just a few questions that you can ask when reading. Of course, there are a ton more. Use your imagination to deconstruct what you’ve read, especially if you really enjoyed it.

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!!!


  1. I have to read everyday. I don't finish books quite as quickly though. That's because I read more than one book at a time. But I do make note of the things you mentioned.

  2. Good question list. I'm finding that the books that I pile through obsessively have more than a great plot. They have lyrical, gorgeous language. I mean, even beyond a snappy "voice".

  3. I have quite a few books to read over the summer, while writing. Typically, the evenings work best for me and I can read for hours. I'm at little slower at getting through any book these days because of the busyness. But those questions you posed are good items to ponder in the writing process as well.

  4. You are a very rational reader. I never know why I love a book. I just know that I can't stop reading it.

  5. Wow - I have to say looking at this I'm hugely pleased with your review of my short story in comment form. Shah = XX

  6. I'm following you ;D Shah .X

  7. Sorry, Everyone. I didn't get back on and comment yesterday. I've been entertaining the kids - you know. I've also started a new book by James Patterson. Loving it!!! I'm pacing myself though.LOL, for now at least.

    Thanks for the following Shah!!!

  8. I have the same problem of staying up late and getting engrossed in a book. I've noticed that if I see a weakness in the writing I instantly start considering my writing to see if it's there, as well, which is probably good in the long run.

  9. Shannon, that is exactly what reading should do for us writers - make us question our own work. The staying up late and not pacing ourselves while we read is another story...LOL maybe we need therapy or something. LOL - I wouldn't go though because I love being so engrossed in a book that I can't put it down. It doesn't happen with every book I read but it does happen enough that my kids laugh when they see a new book in my hand. Actually, I'm not sure if it's laugh or cringe...

  10. Lol, I can relate. I picked up a book at the library yesterday before hubby went to work. When he came home, he asked (smiling), "So how was the book?" He knew that once I started it, I wouldn't (couldn't) stop until it was done.

    I've got friends that look like zombies on a Sunday morning because they were out partying all night; I look like a zombie on Sunday morning because I was up reading all night. :)


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