Monday, July 8, 2013

Second Chances

Photo Credit: chchiseOO

Recently, my mother received a gift card to a restaurant chain. Our previous visit left us disappointed, so we were not excited at the prospect of going again.

We were pleasantly surprised by the excellent meal and great service. It changed our attitude toward the restaurant, and we'll be going back again in the near future.

Books are like a good meal to a reader. Even when a novel disappoints me, I take into account several things:

1) Is this one of the author's early works? Perhaps they've improved in their craft since then.

2) If the writing is less than adequate, does the story make up for the deficit?

3) Perhaps the story doesn't resonate with me. I'll check the author's other titles to see if they're more to my liking.

If restaurants deserve a second chance, why not give an author another opportunity to grab your interest?

Writers: Do you find yourself editing other author's books as you read? Please tell us how you turn off the internal editor and just enjoy the story.

Readers: Does a dynamite storyline make up for less than stellar writing? Please share.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. I've changed my reading habits when reading novels, since I've been blogging ... the story line will encourage me to read more, even if my first experience wasn't very good ... yet I won't go back to genres I'm not keen on .. I like to support new authors via the blog though ..

Glad you and your mother were able to have a better experience - always good to eat out and not have to wash up!

Cheers and have a happy week ahead .. Hilary

Karen Lange said...

I do find myself examining characters and plot and whatnot when reading fiction now, and yes, editing as necessary! The same goes for non fiction. If I have time, I sometimes will give an author a second try if I wasn't impressed with their first work.

Have a great week,

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary - There are certain genres that don't appeal to me as well. I like eating out for the same reason. :)

Hi Karen - It's almost impossible for me to turn off that internal editor. Recently, an excellent story flipped the switch. :)


quietspirit said...

Susan: I find myself editing every thing I read: church bulletin, church newsletters, our local newspaper, you name it. I even mentally edit signs I see in public. I can't help myself.

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Sure, I do mentally edit everything I read and I even recognize mistakes I make myself, haha!
Second chance? Hhmm, yes, I do.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marja -

If I've been away from my manuscript, I'll pick up a lot more than if I've been working on it. :)

I'm all for second chances. After all, God gives us way more than that.


Ruth Schiffmann said...

Sometimes if the story is good enough, I can get past less-than-stellar writing.
Dissecting what I read is still a struggle for me, so I don't have much trouble with that when reading for pleasure.

Rhonda Schrock said...

I'm just downright picky, Susan. So for me? No. A good story line doesn't make up for poor writing. I'll give second tries sometimes. Maybe I should more often.

Anonymous said...

Susan, a story that grabs me distracts me from editing. Questionable wording distracts me while reading a weak story. I do believe in second chances. I would have missed out on some engaging stories if I hadn't.

DenaNetherton said...

Susan, as a writer, I find it almost impossible to turn off the internal editor. Unless the story is truly compelling and the characters unforgettable, I find myself critiquing constantly. the hardest thing for me to get over is when a character does or says something completely out of character.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Zoe - Welcome! Yes, a compelling story will override the internal editor for me as well.

Hi Dena - Yes, it is hard to turn off the urge to edit. Head-hopping and same-old, same-old plots ignite the editing fire.

Susan :)

Jean Fischer said...

Oh, Susan, you've hit on something that I've tried hard to overcome but with little success--reading for the pure enjoyment without wearing my editor's hat.

I'm all for second chances :-)