Sunday, November 9, 2014

Conscious Reading.

My reading experience is different when I'm actively writing.  I just catch the 'tricks' more.  I can tell when the author is actually making an effort.

So for instance, I like reading quick thrillers, John Sandford, Lee Child, Daniel Silva and the like.  But I'm noticing just how....lazy...they are.  They're mailing it in.  I still read the books, but I can tell they're not making much of an effort.

Meanwhile, I started reading Lies of Locke Lamora, which I had heard good things about, and...well, it's a bit 'over-written' -- that is, I think the author is making too much of an effort.  It's distracting.

I tried reading the latest Frederick Forsyth book.  Now I loved Day of the Jackal, long ago, but this newest book was shit.  Moronic right wing politics, card board characters, recycled plot.

I started reading Olen Steinhauer spy novels, and...I can tell that he's trying really really hard to have both hard-boiled spying and domestic drama, and the domestic drama is just...boring and stupid and completely unnecessary.

I don't mean to be over-critical.  I don't want to be over-critical.  I just find it harder to find books I want to read all the way through.  I'm just way more conscious of the plot and the characterizations and I can tell what they're trying to do and it just makes it harder to sink into the story and enjoy it.

When I wrote my first book, Star Axe, it was even worse.  I didn't read for months, almost a year.  I finally forced myself to start up again.

In the interim, the 25 years when I wasn't writing, I was more critical of the writing than I had been before I had the experience of writing a book, but I eventually relaxed and quit being so conscious.

Now I'm having trouble just enjoying the experience again.

I think it's just one of the costs of being an active writer.  I see the backstage machinery.

No comments: