IWSG - Reading Rocks!

Today is also the first posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group of 2017.  The IWSG is a safe place for writers to express their fears and insecurities in a supportive environment. Join us at  www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com And don't forget to sign up for the IWSG Newsletter - it's filled with great advice written by writers for writers. 


I can’t believe how quickly January has whizzed past, leaving me in a total daze. I haven’t accomplished everything I wanted to this month, but the writing days have been productive and I’m pleased with the results.

It’s great to see so many new books being launched – my ‘to be read’ file is filling quickly. One book I’ve read recently is Tsunami Crimes by Chrys Fey - the latest in her Disaster Crimes Series. I loved it! If you like to be thrilled and dragged through dangerous situations, I highly recommend you read this story. Currently, I'm reading a book by the fabulous crime writer Ann Cleeves: The Moth Catcher. Crime writing at its best.


This month’s IWSG reflective question is: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?



The main thing I’ve noticed since being a writer, is an increase in my appreciation for writers. To create a story that captivates and enthralls a reader is difficult to accomplish, and requires a lot of skill, amongst an array of other things.


Even though I’m an English teacher, and as part of the job I have to analyse text, I mostly read for enjoyment. Naturally, the more learned about the craft of writing, the easier it is to spot inconsistencies within a piece of text, but honestly, if a reader gets too bogged down with searching out technicalities – good or bad – then the whole purpose of reading for enjoyment or escapism is quashed, isn’t it? 

As a writer, I aim to give my readers an experience that emotionally involves them in my story, and as a reader, I wish to continue being captivated by writers who invite me to share their journey. 

Read any good books lately?  I wish you all a fabulous February.

Happy reading and writing!






  

Comments

  1. That's great you can still read and enjoy! And cool you really liked Chrys' book.

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  2. Writers do the difficult and somehow enjoy doing it. It's great to be one of them.

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  3. I haven't read Chrys's book yet—I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it. :)

    I love stories that involve me emotionally. That's my goal, too, both in reading and writing.

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    1. Thanks for popping by to comment. Lovely to 'see' you.

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  4. I'm reading an arc for Amy McNulty's upcoming Beanstalk retelling. Reading for the joy of reading is beautiful.

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    1. That sounds interesting, Sheena. Hope you enjoy it.

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  5. Thank you for the shout out, Nicola! And especially a good shout out in a post about reading experience. :P

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    1. You are most welcome. Congrats on another great read!

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  6. It is fun to read, isn't it? If a story has too many mistakes in it, though, it messes up my enjoyment of it.

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    1. I'm very choosey about the books I read so there aren't too many errors and I haven't read anything that has spoilt my reading experience because of mistakes - although a few have bored me to sleep.

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  7. The whole purpose of characterization in story is to connect to the reader emotionally. I'll have to check out Chrys' book. All best to you.

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  8. Emotional involvement is so important in a good story.

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    1. Without emotion, there's no point is there?

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  9. I have been reading Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series. The first two were great. The last two not so much. :-( The writer in me keeps yelling: SHOW DON'T TELL! :-)

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    1. That irks me from time to time too. Especially as I've had it rammed down my throat often enough :)

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  10. Hooray for Chrys! I think, when one is a writer, everything regarding the written word becomes heightened if I can say that. You become more aware of the grammar, the words, the styling. It makes sense

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    1. Exactly. Hope all is well, Birgit.

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  11. Hello, Nicola. I'm a retired English teacher, and guilty of pooh-poohing in-depth lit crit in front of my students. I agree that the principal purpose of story is to entertain us, with education a close second--education about the human condition. Dissecting a story down to the molecular level doesn't necessarily make us better readers, but it is somewhat helpful for writers.

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    1. When I write, I just write. When I read, I just read. When I analyse, I grumble :):)

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  12. Yes, reading for enjoyment is great. We don't want to analyze then.

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    1. Hope all is well, Liz. Thanks for popping by.

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  13. Hi Nicola - I read to learn and enjoy ... I'm not much good at reading novels, or mysteries ... though I do at times. I can understand your appreciation of the work involved in storytelling .. and as I'm now blogging I learn a great deal. I must get to one of Chrys' books ... thanks for this informative and educative post - cheers Hilary

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    1. Any type of reading is great, Hilary. When I had students who were reluctant readers, I always found a way to find out his/her interests and based their reading material on that. That could be non-fiction picture books, comics, magazines, fiction books - anything to encourage them. Thank you for stopping by.

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  14. Funnily enough we were just talking about writers being readers at the writing group the other day. As writers, we probably tend to spot small errors etc a bit more but we all agreed that a story should be captivating enough for us to enjoy reading it for pleasure!

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    1. I agree, Rosemary. Thank you very much for coming by to comment. Lovely to 'see' you. Hope all is well in Scotland.

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  15. Writing has changed my reading habits. I no longer feel as if I have to finish a book I'm not enjoying. But it's also slowed down my reading some. This anthology of mine takes up so much time and energy, I'm not reading as much. But this, too, shall pass.

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    1. I'm so thrilled that the anthology is coming along nicely. Enjoy the process. Thank you for popping by, Karen.

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  16. I agree that, as writers, we read in a different way, Nicola, and yes it's easy to spot errors and typos. However, generally when I've enjoyed a book and have been turning the pages enthralled by the story, I'm full of admiration for the author who has written it. A great post and thank you for the recommendations!

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    1. Thank you, Jan. There are so many writers I admire and aspire to. Ann Cleeves is flavour of the month :)

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  17. I can definitely over-look a lot because I so enjoy reading.

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  18. Learning the "rules" has made me more aware of things like structure, but it also makes me really appreciate a good voice. I'll read some stories that just tear up the rules, but I can't put it down because the writing is so natural and fluid. And then I'll read things that are "perfect" structurally, yet I can't stay with the plot. Getting all of that together is so hard, so like you- I have a much greater appreciation for writers!

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    1. I've learnt so much since the beginning of my writing journey and am still learning the craft :)

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  19. Agreed. Definite increase in appreciation for writers. Great post.
    Happy IWSG Day!
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  20. Well said.
    Glad you've had productive writing days.
    The HH teaches English too.

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    1. Thanks, Sandra. I hope all is well with you and yours. Have a super weekend.

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  21. You expressed my feelings exactly. Definitely no fun to read if we put on our editors' caps. I must say though if the writing or even the formatting/proofreading is no good, I toss that book and get a different one.

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    1. Lovely to see you 'J.Q.'. I hope all is well with you. Thank you for popping by.

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  22. An even greater appreciation of good writing is something I've noticed since I became a writer myself. I'm also more likely to give up on a book which doesn't grab me quickly. If I'm not enjoying the story I'll either read, or write, something else.

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    1. Me too, Patsy. I have a file on my Kindle for 'Given up for now' books. Have a super week. Hope all is well.

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  23. I love Ann Cleeves. Both of her series--Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez--I read and watched. She puts so much culture in her stories, can't get enough of them.

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    1. Hi Jacqui! She's a superb writer. So happy you like her work too.

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  24. I know exactly what you mean, writing makes me more appreciate of a good book too. Just finished Joyce Carol Oates' We Were The Mulvaneys. A good read, but I'm ready for something a bit cheerier now!

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    1. If you are looking for an uplifting book, I've just enjoyed 'Life's A Drag' by Janie Millman. Thanks for the home grown tips, Claire. Greatly appreciated!

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  25. I agree with you Nicola, I basically read for enjoyment and I don't want to be slammed in the face by errors or inconsistencies. Trouble is that happens a lot these days. Editing or proof reading is not very good any more.

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    1. I think the problem is, aspiring authors can't afford good editors. I've been lucky enough to have found a brilliant one (saved for a year :)) so hopefully readers will enjoy my upcoming crime novel without being distracted by errors. Thank you for popping over Jo!

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  26. I think if a book isn't very good you spot it more quickly if you're a writer. Also, I tend to give up rather than persevere with books that aren't engaging, I won't carry on with them for the sake of it.
    Good reads so far this year are Fellside by M.R Carey, slow start, but once it got going I couldn't put it down.

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    1. I'm not patient enough with slow starting novels :( Thank you for visiting, Maria. Lovely to 'see' you. Have a lovely week.

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  27. I've just read and enjoyed 'The Girl in the Red Coat' by Kate Hamer.

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    1. That's on my 'TBR' list. I love the cover :)

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  28. I'm about to start the next book in Louise Penny's Three Pines series. Can't wait to sit down and read it. My TBR list is huge, but it's nice having options.

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    1. Just researched Louise Penny - sorry, but I'd not heard of her. What have I been missing? Looking forward to diving into my first Three Pines :)

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  29. I like your way of looking at it! I just finished Beverly Cleary's autobiography, and I'm reading Sophie's Choice for the first time.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Deniz. I hope all is well with you.

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  30. That's what I decided about reading. I want to read for the purpose of entertainment and enjoying what I read. It's no fun to get bogged down my all the "rules" a writer hears.

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    1. I think it's important to enjoy reading. After all, we want our readers to enjoy our books, don't we? Have a super week Cherie. I hope the big project at work allows you more time for your writing this month. Take care!

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  31. I don't try to find errors, but they pop up to me often and will ruin my enjoyment. Some bloggers (not here!) don't appear to even try to proofread. It drives me crazy. Lately the most enjoyment I'm getting from books is rewriting my own short stories. It's great to be in love with my characters. Be well!

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    1. Enjoy the rewrites, Darla. Thank you for popping by.

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  32. Well put! When I'm reading, I'm wanting to be pulled into the story. It usually takes quite a bit of bad to knock me totally out of it, but it happens.

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    1. I just love that feeling of tension a good writer creates with words. Reading rocks!

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  33. Reading for enjoyment for writers is a luxury nowadays.

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    1. I lavish myself in that luxury every day. I get withdrawal symptoms if I'm not able to read. Thanks for popping by, Kelly.

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  34. AS much as I appreciate the writer's art, I might have as much or greater appreciation that someone got their work published, whether it be by a publisher or on their own. The writing itself doesn't amount to as great of a feat if no one ever reads it.

    I really need to take more time for reading. I've been very bad about this of late.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to comment, Arlee. Lovely to see you.

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  35. Even as a writer, sometimes I think of myself as a reader first. I try to read 3-4 books a week...I can't get enough! :)

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    1. Very impressive! I don't read that quickly, unfortunately. Thanks for popping over.

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  36. I can't believe it didn't make it here last month! Epic fail on my part. But it was that kind of month. I hope things are going well for you, that you aren't...buried? =) (Unless it's in cheese.)

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    1. I've had a chaotic few months, Crystal and how quickly does the time pass us by? Glad you made it. Always lovely to 'see' you.

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  37. I don't know how folks read so many books. I've got a Jimmy Stewart biography I haven't touched in weeks because I'm so focused on rewrites. ~grin~ I did buy a book by Sascha Illyvich called "Slow Burn" and have enjoyed reading something similar to what I write. Be well!

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    1. I love reading what's current in my own writing genre. It's nice to see how others are evoking imagery. Have a great week, Darla.

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  38. Hello, Nicola. Lovely blog you haave here. I've just joined IWSG and am currently finding my way around at the moment. JI've got this huge 2BR pile at the moment and don't see any hope of getting around it any time soon.

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    1. Thank you, Maria. Unfortunately, I haven't been as present as I'd like. Hopefully that will change soon. Thank you for visiting. Lovely to 'meet' you.

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  39. I'd have to agree with you about appreciating authors so much more now that I'm in that group.

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    1. :) Hope life is being kind, Lee.

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  40. Yes, you learn to appreciate things you never noticed when you were just a reader.

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  41. Hope all is well with you as spring approaches.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  42. It's lovely to find your blog, Nicola. I hope to come back again and read more.

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    1. Thank you, Maria. Lovely to 'meet' you!

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