I’m taking a tap-out today. My head is in a less than awesome space.
So we shall answer this month’s hot, HOT, SIZZLING HOT IWSG 1st Wednesday prompt:
How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?
Badly, sad to say.
I’m very detail-oriented by nature. I may have ranted about that in the past. Not that I don’t appreciate another’s work (because writing is hard and getting it out there is hard and convincing someone to spend their hard-earned money on your work is especially hard), but I get a little tweaked when I come across something that feels… lazy.
I edit fiction books in my head, now.
“Ooooo… I wouldn’t have worded that sentence that way.”
“Why did we just spend a whole chapter explaining LaGrange points?”
“Seriously? The character is black? I’m 400 pages in on a book that’s only 475 pages long and you’re only just now telling me that the lead archeologist who we first met in chapter 3 is black and you’re telling me this during an argument regarding slavery of an alien species and using it as an example for why this archaeologist is offended by the idea.”
“‘Put a pin in it’ is not a sewing reference. It came out of World War I/II in reference to replacing the pin that activated a grenade before releasing the spoon, thereby preventing it from exploding when the spoon was released.”
“Aboard. Not abroad. There is a difference.”
“Wait. Two books ago you said that person’s name was Robert in passing conversation. Why are we suddenly calling him Raymond?”
Because my internal narrator does not shut up, I now read mostly non-fiction. In part because I like it, in part because I can call it “research” and in part because I can get this reaction out of myself –
“That really happened? That is seriously messed up!”
Which will effectively shut down my internal critic for a minute with the sheer wonderment of the greatness, heinousness, audacity or plain stupidity of the story in question that happened in real life.
No, really. Fiction writers are criminal masterminds in comparison to Joe Average. What fiction writer – knowing they were going to buy the supplies for making a bomb to blow up someone they don’t like – would buy all needed supplies in one trip at their local store just down the street, using a credit card, then fail to burn the receipt before flushing its ashes down the toilet? Answer: None of them.
This being said, there have been some criminals in history that were just plain brilliant – like the guy who smuggled ancient artifacts out of Egypt by painting over them using gaudy modeling paint to fool customs. Once home with his booty, he would clean the artifacts of the paint and sell them to the highest bidder. For years.
Check out the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to see more writers dish about their concerns, their solutions to various problems, or just general myrmecophobia.