Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG & Reading

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

FEBRUARY 1ST QUESTION: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

Wow. Great question.

I'm much more aware as a reader now, although I still tend to get caught up in the stories. Probably always will - which isn't a bad thing. Means the writers are doing their jobs well!

I'm learning to pay attention to the way authors incorporate description. This is an area where I need a lot of work. My brain isn't visual and I really couldn't care less what colour anyone's hair is! I've gotten stronger at realizing where and when those details are helpful for the reader -- mostly thanks to crit buddies and reading books by talented authors!

How about you? Is incorporating description easy or difficult for you? What do you pay attention to as you're reading?

47 comments:

  1. I've noticed that as well. I still notice when authors dump way too much description in, but when it's balanced, I try to see why. Because it's not my strong suit either.

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    1. I don't think it will ever be mine! :P

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  2. I am much more likely to notice technique now than I used to be, but I'm mostly still able to just lose myself in the story. Thankfully!

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    1. I love losing myself in stories too! It's the best feeling! :)

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  3. The passive stuff jumps out at me now and I've realized that there is a lot of passive writing out there.

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    1. There is! I'm getting better at recognizing it as well :)

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  4. I think writers irritate me more since I've become a translator LOL :)

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  5. Good for you for focusing on description. I wish I could because I'm weak on it too, but I still tend to skim it when I read.

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    1. LOL - let's not tell anyone because I do it sometimes too! :)

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  6. Oh, Jemi, I struggle with the same thing - descriptions. My brain doesn't work the way either.

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  7. I look for the ways authors slip in description without it sounding forced and clumsy. Not sure if I'm succeeding yet, but I'll keep reading for more clues.

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  8. characters rule my reading world. Description can be difficult at times. I'm envious of writers who do it so effortlessly and lyrically - or at least it looks that way on the page!

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    1. It does! That lyrical prose is WAY outside my comfort zone :)

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  9. My problem early on was that I'd see all the details in my head, but never put them on the page. Yeah, that took some heavy focus to overcome.

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    1. I bet! I'm not visual so I rarely see anything in my head - but I feel it all in my heart!

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  10. Love that you still get caught up in the stories! Sometimes I find that hard to do, even when I'm absolutely head-over-heels for a tale. I can't shut my stinking editor off.

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    1. I'm glad I'm still able to get caught up. I sometimes need my editor to do more waking up! :)

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  11. I worry about that in my writing too. I read some books where the writer does such a great job, I don't mind all the description and other books where I find myself skipping. I try to figure out the difference.

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    1. Me too! I like when the description is sprinkled in, not dumped!

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  12. I love reading to learn how to write certain ways/things. That's how I learned in the beginning. :)

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  13. So true! I didn't realize it, but I focus on what I need to improve on, but also what I admire and aspire to. The books I read before revising my novel had amazing character development, so I tried hard to focus on revisions in that area...and I think it paid off because a couple of reviewers commented favorably on it. (I do admit...I still skim over description when I'm reading!!) Christy

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    1. Me too! Description is dull ... unless it's done really well and then I'm envious :)

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  14. I love and hate description, probably because it can be fun but sometimes it's soooooo difficult. I think the trick is to sneak it in. "He ran fingers through his brown hair." That's what I've picked up. But know that you're not alone!

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    1. Yay for solidarity!! I like the sneaky approach too :)

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  15. Hi Jemi! I love description, or should I say, over-love description. I could write settings and flowery descriptions forever, which is a result of writing travel articles where your descriptions have to be magnificent. But after over-writing descriptions in my WIPs, I have to go back and edit most of them out. Boo hoo. :-(

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    1. Wow! I'd NEVER be hired as a travel writer!!!! I love the slash 'n' burn edit round though :)

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  16. Good question to answer Jemi. Editing other authors' books has made reading for pleasure a chore for me as I keep finding stuff I would edit out.

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    1. That's so sad! I hope I never lose that joy of reading!

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  17. I THINK I'm ok with description... mostly. Of course, I could be totally deluding myself. I seem to do that on occasion.

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    1. Nothing wrong with a good delusion - but I don't think this is one! :)

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  18. Back when I wrote novels, descriptions were always such a challenge for me. Makes me glad I do comics now; don't have to worry about describing anything, since it's all right there in the art! LOL. Best of luck with your own descriptions!

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    1. Thanks! Maybe it's time to try my hand at comics ... except I need some art talent! :P

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  19. I've got an active imagination so I need very little setting for myself as a reader. It usually surprises me when other people in my critique group say there wasn't enough setting for them when they read a piece. Guess I need less description than most. :)

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  20. i would love to join this amazing group but since long time my imagination brings fragments so waiting for proper regular work of my brain to write something worth reading .
    best wishes !

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    1. Everyone has something worth saying! Hope you find the time to develop your voice and talent!

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  21. Incorporating description is a nightmare for me and the biggest revision I'd have to make for my editors. Now I do it all in one pass on one awful, very full day. When I'm finally in the description-writing mode, I have to write *all* the description at that time. I try to add verbs to my description and it helps. But as a reader, I don't like reading it...may explain a lot. Good luck to you with your description!

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    1. LOL - that's an awesome way to do it! Suffer for one day and let it go! :)

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  22. Like you I tend to notice the things I am working on in books I am reading. I think that is a good thing because we are trying to learn from others, and I still enjoy the books I am reading. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Yes! I still enjoy as well - hope we never lose that!

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  23. Incorporating description is my least favourite part of writing, although I admire it when someone does it well. Being a writer has made me a tougher judge of the books I read, but when I read one that's well-written, I can't stop talking about it!

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  24. I get caught up in a good story, too. I love reading!

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  25. If a book is written well, I think it's impossible not to get caught up in it, even while you're learning from it.

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