Saturday, September 11, 2010

What'cha ya going to do?

Haven’t been writing "too" much lately, reading has gotten in the way.

I just finished a few Stephen king novels, the stand and under the dome, also I just finished the second book of the hunger games series, in fact about 2 minutes ago and about to start on number 3, mocking jay.

Every time I sit down to revise my work, I find myself longing to read and end up doing so after just a few minutes.

If I ever want to get done I need to stop reading so much, maybe after “mocking jay” I’ll make a goal to finish and set my prize at a new book to read.

The good thing about reading is it helps you see what to do or not to do… it gives inspiration and hope when you read something that is horrible and you’re sure your doing better. It gives you a sense of how a good book should feel, read, grow and finish.

The bad thing about reading is how much time it takes up—time that I have very little to spare. Also it begins this deep yearning to read more, find that next great adventure, soon you’re reading and not writing.

I guess after this rant what I am trying to get at is this: how do you separate your writing time and reading time?

One other question that just popped into my head, if you don’t mind answering, is this: is there such a thing as to much tragedy in a book you like to read. I hear more and more you need to be a sadist when it comes to writing, make you chars suffer.

Now I do agree there needs to be hardships, but there must be jubilation as well, at least enough the reader can relax and connect to the true sense of the characters.

Thx for any comment you might leave. I just can’t post that often, normally I only post when I really need help. I don’t want to bore the wonderful readers of this blog with trivial stuff—stuff I normally write on a daily basis.


  1. If I need to read when I "should" be writing, I know I'm not ready to, that I have something I wanted to learn first, some inspiration I'm missing.

    Too much of anything is too much, happy or sad. I don't want the book to become so dark I don't like anyone or where I'm left unhappy. I don't want it so tidy or gleeful that it feels unreal.

    I, personally, like balance.

  2. I'm with Stephanie.

    As far as tragedy, I have a high tolerance... but I suggest the level of tragedy of Les Miserables, not Hunchback of Notre Dame (both by Victor Hugo). One is very sad, but ends in a way that is satisfying. The other is so horribly sad that it's almost hard to recover emotionally (and I like sadness more than most).

    More than anything, though, write what YOU like. If it's just the right amount of sadness for a beta reader, but it doesn't satisfy you, I'd choose your own opinion to follow. Don't sell out if your instinct says different.

  3. EVen if you are spending a lot of time reading...all that is actually good for you. The better reader you are the better your writing. I know that if I'm not reading at least a book a month (this is hard in school because I have to do so much reading for my classes) that I find it a bit difficult to ever write good stuff. Reading makes me a better writer and helps with so many little things.

    Though you are right. The more I read the more I want too.

    I'm not very good at balancing so I won't bore you with my trials and tribulations.

    Hmm. Tragedy is fine but if the book is more than 3/4 tragedy I'll stop reading. Honestly though, I like books that are half and half. I like things to feel balanced. If they aren't balanced than reading the book makes ME feel unbalanced. That being said, there are really light books that I love and there are very tragic books that have surprised me in wonderful ways. It depends on the writing and delivery as well.

  4. I separate my writing and reading time by making sure I try to write at least a little everyday, even on days I don't feel like writing and working within a set schedule. So if I say that I want to be somewhere in my writing by the end of the month, and I realise that that's unlikely to happen, because im reading so much instead I will re-evaluate my deadline so that I can let myself have more time to spend reading while still actively towards my goal.

    As for tragedy, i personally like struggles in a book, but too much tragedy would not please me. I tend to prefer optimism in my novels.

  5. Every time I pick up a book I'm studying...I have sticky notes handy and quite often I take notes on things that stick out in my mind as I read. I usually read before bed and on weekends when I'm not writing or doing other things...

    In ya I like a little pain...the teenage years are full of it and when you are living those years they seem tragic, even if they aren't really. Often the pain is self induced, but that's real too...

    Enjoy your book, Jeff!

  6. I remember reading that before, that reading can help writers. And writers need breaks too. When you get back to revising your stories, you will have a clearer mind to be able to correct your work. Enjoy reading your books and don't forget to get back to revising your work when you feel you can with a clear mind. :)


  7. I was working one time where I would write for half an hour and then read for half an hour. I found that it worked out quite well and I was pretty productive that day.

    Reading is a great way to learn how to be a better writing. Whether the book is brilliant, okay or just crap, nothing is a waste.

  8. I always try to write more than I read. Sometimes when I want to watch a TV show, I use that as my excuse to read. I'm reading "The Help" right now by Kathryn Stockett. It was her first novel and a new york times best seller. I'm only in two chapters and I know why. She is an incredible talent.

  9. Reading a lot will help you as a writer. Plus, distance from your WiP before getting deep into revisions is a good thing, and should be spent reading.

    Read guilt-free. Think of it as school. :)