WARNING: May contain naughty language.

Monday, January 9, 2012

How Writing Changes the Way You Read

A couple of days after Christmas I was salivating at the prospect of burning some B&N gift cards I'd received in my stocking. I was especially keen on picking up the new book by an author I've enjoyed immensely over the years. No names, but it is super high octane, explosive action genre thriller . His books in the past (about 7 or 8 of them) have been hellaciously fun to read and I was really looking forward to his latest, after a seven year absence.

I've been "seriously" writing for about three years and had not realized what its done to me. I'm almost finished with his novel and while it had all the incredible action, implausible plot twists and starkly 2D characters I loved in the past, I noticed other things I was previously (blissfully?) unaware of.

Subtle things, for the most part. A proclivity to end cliff hangers on an exclamation point. Reuse of certain action words and adjectives. Interesting choices of semi-colon vs. comma. The list goes on.

It didn't detract from the experience. I still enjoyed it a great deal, but I was enjoying it in the same way I would a Big Mac as opposed to a genuine Kuma burger. The little things started adding up and some part of my brain was keeping tally of those minor details.

I'm almost finished with the book and am really enjoying the pace, the active description of combat scenes (which I will shamelessly borrow from in the future) and other aspects. But I'm enjoying the book in a different manner than before.

I sort of just hope that is part of growing as a writer, thus by extension, as a reader as well.

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