Since starting to write more seriously, and in so doing learn more about story structure, I find I’m reading more critically. And I can better articulate why I don’t like something. I still need to work on understanding why things work well!

This makes me slow down when I’m reading, and skip over less, so I have time to think about what I’m reading rather than just race through to find out what happens. I’m enjoying the middle of books more, as I appreciate them better, instead of focusing on getting to the end. I still want to get to the end, but I’m happier now to stop in the middle of a story. Well, more often than before anyway! (Also since having children sleep is more valued than it once was, so reading all night is not on the cards anymore. For which my husband is thankful!)

I’ve also done some beta reading for a few people, which is in itself an interesting activity. I found I’m not so good at line editing (the picky detail of individual words), but I am much better at looking at the overall story. How that’s put together and finding holes in it that need to be resolved for it to make sense. The only problem I have with doing lots of beta reading is that it takes alot of time to read a novel multiple times and craft a response to it, and I’d rather be writing! So I’m being more picky about what I choose to beta read.


  1. When I tell people how being a writer affects the way I read books, their first response is generally pity: It must spoil the pleasure of reading to be mindful of how the author is handling structure, story arc, character development, etc. But I love it. I’ve always been a “slow” reader, returning to passages, absorbing all the “moving parts.” I think for writers, reading this way feels like a gift.

    • I’ve always been a fast reader, but this is definitely making me slow down and appreciate the writing more. Which does at times frustrate me when half of me wants to race through to find out what happens, while the other half wants to re-read that beautiful phrase!

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