For ten days, I forgot about being a writer. Instead, other than reading Murder on Wheels with an eye towards reviewing it, I let my mind forget about the tools of the trade and I read for pleasure.
Biographies, cozies, thrillers, literary fiction – all were fair game. My goal was pure enjoyment or as I like to refer to it: FUN.
I’ve discovered that in my quest to write decent short stories and novels (or at least publishable ones), I sometimes replace my love of words with mechanical technicalities. When I’m writing, the same critical eye comes into my reading habits. I pick apart the language of other authors. I look to see how they use dialogue, plot, setting, word choice, and grammar instead of simply relaxing into the story. If two linked ideas couldn’t realistically connect in real life, I’m disturbed. If a character’s name isn’t remembered correctly or a hole exists in the plot, the book is a disaster for me.
When I stop writing and become a reader again, I regain my ability to enjoy well-written and not so well-written books. I chuckle, I laugh, I cry, and I am fulfilled by the different worlds I visit. Best of all, I remember why I want to write – to help provide even a smidgen of these feelings to others.
So, what did I read on my break that refreshed me and gave me the drive to write again:
I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Mary Higgins Clark
Destroyer Angel – Nevada Barr
night, night, sleep tight – Hallie Ephron
Truth Be Told – Hank Phillippi Ryan
Interpretation of Murder – B.K. Stevens
The Kept – James Scott
The Inverted Forest – John Dalton
A Fine Romance – Candice Bergen
Have you read anything you’ve liked lately? I’m making a list for my next ten day break.