Monday, February 16, 2015

5 Ways Writing Changed My Perspective

I don't think I have to tell you that air travel has changed over the years. This didn't impact me personally since I didn't go anywhere. Yes, I booked travel for my company and had to know about airfares, schedules, booking online, and a myriad of other details, but it was more theoretical than practical.

My perspective did an about face when I had to book travel for myself. How was I going to get to the airport? What was I allowed to take in my carry-on luggage? How long would it take to get through security? All of these issues hit home.

In the same way, the addition of "writer" to my resume changed the way I thought about books:

1) The voracious reader in me read the story and recognized certain fiction techniques like show/don't tell, passive versus active voice, deep point of view, etc.

2)  I noticed when writing rules were broken and tried to discern whether it was a lapse on the author's part or a deliberate way to make the story work.

3)  When a story gripped my emotions, I wanted to know why and how to make that happen in my own novels.

4)  If the story made me forget about doing all the above, I knew it was a truly well-written tale.

5)  When the mechanics were right and the "heart" came through, the reading experience became something treasured.

Wanting to give the reader that almost magical trip into a character's world pushes me to improve my skills. The reading/writing process combined to birth a new story and give me an appreciation for both.
Writers:  How did writing either fiction or non-fiction change your reading habits?

Readers:  Is there some area of your life that went from being important for others to something deeply personal? Examples:  Babysitting versus being a mom, researching health issues for someone else versus grappling with your own.

Photo Credit: teslacoils


Karen Lange said...

I view writing differently - or from more and different angles, than I used to. As writers, we are in the "thick" of things, trying to offer that experience that we enjoy so much as readers. There's always something to learn, isn't there? :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Like you, I began to notice broken rules in some famous writers' books. My biggest pet peeve is when the emotion that went with the dialogue goes after the words, ie: "I can't attend your party!" she said with distaste. If the emotion is afterwards, I sometimes need to go back and reread the dialogue, since I've imagined her tone of voice as she says it. Does this make sense?


margie houmes said...

Dear Susan,
After reading your post I realized my perspective has changed. I cannot read a book anymore without taking a moment to reflect on the excellence of word choice etc. If I see mistakes I hope I am merciful as I truly WANT others to be merciful with my mistakes.
The best thing about writing is hearing my Father's voice. Nothing can I compare for the interchange we have as I pen His heart.
Yes, I read differently today
. Thank you for your post. Now I know what's wrong with me. hahhaha