12 Comments

  1. Patricia Yager Delagrange
    September 21, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

    Since I started writing and taking craft classes and looking at what my editor doesn’t like in my work, I cannot read a novel like I used to do. I have metamorphosed into a mini-editor of sorts. I have put down more books over the last two years than in my entire life because the writing irritated me or I couldn’t figure out whose head was talking.
    But, I guess that means that when I DO read, I’m reading someone who IMO knows how to grab me and pull me into the story.
    Patti

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    • alicamckennajohnson
      September 21, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

      Exactly I’ve become a mini editor. And I’ve become super picky. Which on one hand is good, but it can also be frustrating.

      Reply

  2. Jennette Marie Powell
    September 21, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

    Luckily, I can still escape into a good book – but yes, since I started writing, the standards for what is “good” are certainly higher. When something’s not working, I can’t resist trying to figure out why, so at least I can learn from the not-so-good books. I am also less tolerant of stories that take longer to get going, although maybe that’s more a function of age!

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    • alicamckennajohnson
      September 25, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

      If it’s a good book I can lose myself into it, but if not it becomes a chore.

      Reply

  3. Bill Jones, Jr.
    September 21, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

    I’ve found that since many screenplays use the same 3-act formula, I can predict within minutes when the first major failure will happen (1/4 of the way into the story) and when the climax will happen (3/4 of the way). It takes the suspense out, and therefore, I rarely sit for the entire event.

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    • alicamckennajohnson
      September 25, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

      It’s true movies have become more tedious to watch- I think that’s why I like foreign films- I haven;t figured out the pattern yet.

      Reply

  4. rddenton
    September 22, 2011 @ 3:13 am

    To be honest, I’ve gotten to a point where I end up forgetting most everything I’ve read when I go into something. I don’t know why, but I love being able to be surprised, even by the crappiest, most cliched twist.

    That being said, I also think there’s an important difference between pulp literature and literary writing. Literary writing seems as if it really tries to capture the verisimilitude of a setting, a set of characters, a culture, or an era in time. Even the princesses have yellow teeth, the hay-stuffed beds are riddled with lice, and the knights all suffer from awful bouts of dysentery. Cool if you want some gritty reality. But then, I switch over to the fun, pulpy stuff — you know, the unreal stuff, when princesses are super-beautiful, the medieval times had the equivalent of Seely Posturpedics (did I spell that right?), and knights knew how to wipe those super-sexy booties of theirs. With pulp, I can accept that what I’m reading isn’t truthful, but that it’s untruthful to a point of fantasizing a certain type of story for me. I like that. I don’t need shit to be accurate; I need it to be fun! 🙂

    I think sometimes ignorance is bliss…but I also think we can choose to be blissfully ignorant when we want to be.

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    • alicamckennajohnson
      September 25, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

      Maybe I need to read only when I’m not in the middle of edits so I’m not looking for stuff. I like the idea of being blissfully ignorant when I want- I’ll work on that.

      Reply

  5. Ron Smith
    September 25, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

    It’s certainly understandable to analyze things from a writer’s point of view. After all, it helps inform our own work. When we see these plot holes or things unexplained in TV, movies, books, it reminds us to make sure we don’t suffer from those same pitfalls.

    Well, at least we can try, that is.

    Reply

  6. Angela Wallace
    October 1, 2011 @ 2:44 am

    I’ve definitely become a mini editor too. I can still enjoy a lot of books, but I really like it when I’m surprised. I find myself guessing what’s going to happen next, or who the killer is, and sometimes I don’t actually like being right. I used to, but now it just feels predictable–in books and television.

    I also used to maintain that “What I don’t know can’t hurt me attitude” when it came to ingredients in food that I might be allergic to… *cough* Yeah, not true. 😛 When I finally double-checked those ingredients, I was depressed to find I really shouldn’t have been eating any of those things. Ignorance might be bliss, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s beneficial.

    Reply

    • alicamckennajohnson
      October 4, 2011 @ 12:49 am

      I can’t eat gluten and I definitely ‘forget’ to check labels sometimes.
      I understand I want to be surprised, The Keepers Tattoo was a fun book, but I could see where the plot was going- it’s YA so I expect that- then out of know where BAM unexpected plot point- I was so excited I ran upstairs to tell my husband!

      Reply

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