Monday, September 14, 2009

Writing and Reading, Reading and Writing

I just reread one of Jodi Thoma's novels. I do that a lot with my favorite authors. My husband keeps trying to get me to clean out the bookshelves and I just can't do it. Here's a snippet of the conversation that is ongoing:

WB: Do you need all of these books?
Me: Yes.
WB: Haven't you read them?
Me: Yes, at least a couple of times.
WB: Then why are we keeping them?
Me: Because I need them.

About this time he usually shakes his head and leaves the room. When we were first married he would continue to harass me about my books. Now after one of these discussions he might even return with an ad for some bookshelves at World Market that are on sale. Just another reason I love that man.

But seriously, I like to keep my books not only for enjoyment, but for reference. I like to see how an author transitions from chapter to chapter. How they use dialogue and how much. Do they switch points of view within a chapter or just stay in one characters point of view for an entire chapter.

Reading was my first love, the writing came after. So I love to have an excuse to curl up and just read. But now when I do read I'm also analyzing and taking notes. It's a great way to learn from your favorite authors, even if you've never met them!

Are there particular things you look for in another person's writing to help you with your own?

My give away of 2 24X24 wall graphics ends tonight. Click on the Home and Garden and Home Grown Kids button to enter!


Jessica said...

LOL! I need my books too. They're just so comforting to look at. Snort!

Pat's Place said...

I do the same thing with my books. And I read them much more critically now than I used to before I started writing. It takes a little bit of fun out of reading a book that is not so well written though.

Janna Qualman said...

Absolutely! I love to look at them, hold them, open one up for reference or research. I couldn't get by without them. Although, I could use another of those shelves you were talking about! :)

Kara said...

Jessica, that is too funny. Sometimes all I get to do is longingly look at them too:)
Pat, I know. Sometimes I read a book and wonder how it got published!
Janna, I think I own more bookshelves than any other piece of furniture!

Terri Tiffany said...

I keep my books! Love them.I go and check them too for how the author writes quite often. Love your new blog look!

Nancy said...

When I read novels,I tend to notice how the author does point of view. Also I notice conversational paragraphing. If there are rules,somebody is breaking them because there are a lot of different styles just on these two things.

Warren Baldwin said...

Tell your husband that I have a couple of thousand books, and can't part with any of them. Yes, they are my work, but my love, too.

Kara said...

Thanks Terri!
I agree Nancy, I always wonder WHAT are the rules!!
Warren, I know I just love books period. I have a whole shelf of just children's books, which I don't really use to study, just enjoy:)

Spencer Pottlitzer said...

Mystery books are donated to the library. Medical,business and history are kept. S.P