I still read for an hour or so before I go to bed. It’s been a life long habit.
Reading for pleasure…reading to relax…reading to satisfy a craving for adventure, romance, intrigue…
But, sometimes in the middle of a chapter, I find that I’ve absentmindedly switched into edit mode, dissecting plot, sentence structure—well, you get the idea.
“Why,” I ask myself, “can’t you just enjoy a book and try not to play editor and critic?”
I’m a relative newbie myself, and I certainly have a lot to learn. I promise I don’t do it because I want to be critical of another writer.
Why do I do it, then?
I’m not 100% sure, but a lady I was talking to in the salon where I get my hair cut said something worth repeating.
I was telling her that I was editing my book —yet, again—and she divulged that she is an avid reader, who often reads right over typos and other mistakes because she is sooooo engrossed in the story.
That caught my attention.
Perhaps the reason I sometimes shift into edit mode is that the story is not engaging me. So, instead of reading on, my mind tries to fix it….
The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think there is a golden nugget of truth there:
The most important aspect of writing just may be story.
If we give our readers a well-written story, they may be able to forgive us an incomplete sentence or the use of an adverb here and there.
I suggest we do strive for excellence in all of our writing
our readers can be a very forgiving bunch
we will give them what they want most:
a great story!