Comes with many joys and sorrows. It completely changes how you look at things like movies and other books too.

For instance, before I became a writer, I used to get absorbed into Christine Feehan’s books. I wouldn’t have put one down until I’d finished reading it, unless something vital, like a kid bleeding from a skinned knee or something. On the rare occasion I did put it down, I’d rush back to it eager to finish it.

Yesterday I spent several hours reading the first half of Samurai Game, but instead of losing myself in the world the book created, I found myself dissecting it and realized 65% of it is passive voice and a ton of descriptions. I still felt for the characters, but always in the back of my mind was the nagging voice telling me I was reading a book.

When it came time to set it aside and start dinner, I discovered that while I’m interested in how it ends, I have no urgent need to return to it. Maybe it was all the passive writing, maybe my brain just automatically set itself to dissect  mode the minute I became a writer, whatever it is, I find myself unable to get “lost in” or “swept away” by books that once completely captivated me. Same with movies.

Is this a normal side effect to becoming a writer?  Will I spend the rest of my life dissecting everything I read or watch?

Maybe my tastes have changed a bit since I started writing, who knows? All I know is that my inner critic has a field day dissecting everything anymore.

Has this happened to any of my fellow writers out there? Authors, can you still lose yourselves in other books instead of dissecting them first go round? Any suggestions for silencing the inner critic for the first read of a new book?

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About kittyb78

Catrina Barton is a licensed Kung-Fu Instructor of the Black Dragon style, and draws on that experience to make her fight scenes both realistic and action packed. She enjoys being surrounded by the stark beauty of mother nature. Whether it's a moon-lit starry sky, or a picnic by a peaceful waterfall cascading from the mountain side. Growing up no matter where she was physically, she always had at least one book in her hands and spent every free moment lost in a book. It's only natural that as she grew up, her passion for reading grew into an even stronger passion for writing, especially Young Adult Paranormal Romances. She is a proud member of many writing and marketing groups, and an active participant at Critique Circle and several other crit groups. Favorite personal quote: "An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and encouragement."

28 responses »

  1. youngdad33 says:

    Yes, sort of. I’m writing fantasy fiction, whilst reading Game Of Thrones. There is a small part of noting how it’s writen and the way it all moulds together. I’ve been watching lots of sword films too and found myself taking notes when inspiration strikes.
    Hope you can get the inner critic to quieten a little.

    • kittyb78 says:

      Hello, thanks for dropping by and commenting. It’s a relief to know it’s not just me. :)
      Sometimes {though rarely} when I watch a movie for the first time now it waits until the last act of the movie to kick in to dissection mode. But lately, not with books. I get a 1/3 of the way in and BAM! My mind is dissecting everything. What worked for me to that point, what didn’t, why it did or didn’t, ect.

      • youngdad33 says:

        Whenever I finished a book, I always liked going for a walk to think about a book and it’s pro’s and Con’s. Sadly not anymore, so I just sit and reflect for a while.

      • kittyb78 says:

        I love to take walks with hubby and the kids. Makes for good exercise and quality family time.
        Even after I leave a book it stays with me as my mind finishes dissecting it.

  2. Peggy Isaacs says:

    This issue is a frequent topic of discussion at my writing group meetings. We all struggle with it. I think it comes with territory.

  3. Yes. I have to remind myself to read as a reader, not a writer. Otherwise, you can lose the enjoyment. It’s sometimes difficult to separate the two.

    • kittyb78 says:

      Hi Kelly, thanks for stopping by and commenting. You make an excellent point. My problem is my inner critic never seems to shut up when I’m reading. I have an analytical mind and it insists on tearing everything apart. I guess that’s why I’m a quick learner. :)
      Feel free to come back for another visit any time.

  4. Yes, it has changed, but only occassionally do I look at the writing structure. My AHA is that I no longer finish reading something that doesn’t hold my attention. When I read I want to feel something, learn something, travel to far off places in my minds eye. Chuckle, cry, grip the edge of my chair in anticipation, or travel through someone elses life in their pocket. I refuse to waste time finishing a book just because I bought it. There’s too many still waiting to be read. :)

    • kittyb78 says:

      Hello Nancy, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.
      That’s excellent advice. Thank you. I’ll keep it in mind. Please feel free to drop by again, any time. :)

  5. Kitty! I think you will appreciate good writing more, and not have time for bad writing. :) That is what happened to me!

    • kittyb78 says:

      Hello, thank for taking time to respond. I think you’re right. I started reading Hunger Games last night and have been absorbed in it until my e-reader died. I’m recharging it and intend to finish it tonight.
      I sent the other book I bought over to mom in law, she’ll have it read in two days tops. XD Feel free to drop by any time.

  6. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    • kittyb78 says:

      Hello Mitsuko, thank you for taking time to leave a comment. It is a vast subject that only one post can’t begin to fully cover.
      Feel free to return any time. :)

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    • kittyb78 says:

      Hi Harry, I’m always happy to help other writers. If even one person finds what I have to offer useful than I know my hard work is paying forward.
      Feel free to return any time and thanks for commenting. :)

  8. I Will have to come back again whenever my course load lets up nonetheless I am getting your Rss feed so i can read your web blog offline. Cheers.

    • kittyb78 says:

      Hello Austin, thanks for taking time to leave a response. I hope you will find some of what I have to offer useful. Look forward to hearing from you again in the future. :)

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