It all goes back to when life got REALLY busy.
(You see, I wasn’t always a wayward reader. I started life reading like any ordinary person, forgetting about the world, and letting myself be taken into an imaginary world that seemed so real that I never wanted to leave.)
Then I learned to read ‘badly.’
You see, my life got SUPER busy!
So I started racing through books, getting the gist of them, and getting really annoyed at details.
Long laborious details!
‘Come on writer! Do you think I have all day?’
Sheesh! Why wouldn’t writers just get to the point!!!
Didn’t the writers realize we READERS live in a fast paced world?
That we had jobs to go to, shows to watch, people to call, meetings to attend, friends to catch up with?
Didn’t they know that they’d lose my interest when they veered into ‘detail‘ territory?
‘I’ surely wouldn’t make the same mistake.
If/when I ever wrote, I would go from action to action, skip boring story details, and show the world my understanding of their busy lives!
I would show that I was in tune with what was going on in their lives. I would NOT disrespect readers by ‘wasting’ their time on too much tedious, heaven forbid, ‘character developement, setting, back story, small key details.
I would jump from action to action, like some of those movies I liked to watch!
No one would be bored by my story details!
Then I saw a movie I didn’t like, (whose title I won’t mention) – a movie that jumped from action to action, and skipped all the important details that were in the book it was supposed to be about. A big book. With a lot of details.
And I remembered I hadn’t minded the details when I read this big book to my children when they were young.
See, when I was reading to my children, there was no race to finish the book- as I knew I’d start another when the present one ended. I knew that I would read them a chapter a night, and so there was no pressure to read the book in one sitting. In fact reading times were my favorite times- when I was reading to my children. In this particular book’s case, the many details made this story kind of good.
The movie about it kinda stunk.
But no worries, that was just one movie, one time. Surely nothing for me to learn.
But then recently I started reading to relax. First it was Mitch Albom’s books. They were easy reading. I began to read a chapter here and there. They were nice short chapters. Nice short books. I’m not vouching for the quality of the writing, though I do love his stories. But I noticed that I was taking time to read, to absorb, and once again enter a world of imagination, wonder, and perception.
I started getting ‘bigger’ books. I had to initially quell that desire to ‘finish’. I learned, once again, to slow down, enjoy the story, and live in the moment on the page…
But what did this mean as a writer? Did it mean that now I would be presuming on modern day readers, that they too had the time to read? To ponder minute details? Was it right of me to ‘waste’ their time on my story details?
This writer was so confused.
Right now I’m reading ‘Les Miserables’ and I’m focused on the details.
I said it.
Details are my friend.
Someday, IF I ever write my novel- the one that’s been brewing for years now, the one I couldn’t start because it was so ‘filled’ with details that I was afraid, IF I ever write it, that it might be, (wait for it) —‘boring.’
Not because it isn’t adventure filled, but because it had details.
I’ve come full circle.
I promise that I will not write a book for those who are in a hurry.
I will write it for those who won’t feel their time is ‘disrespected’ by details.
I will write it for those who would feel disrespected and cheated if not given the opportunity to stop their lives and enter a new world of imagination, with wonder and deep perceptions, and great adventures…
At least that is my aim.
Maybe I’m ready to start that book.
You are ready! Just start. I like this article as I went through that experience of irritation of not getting to the point in a book; I was worse…I would read the back page ( I should have gone through a twelve step program).
Life has slowed down now and I do take my time and I do like the detail as it helps me really live with the people, their situation. I can see them, feel them and smell the aromas.
There is no time like the present….pen to paper…NOW 🙂 and go for the detail.
I’m enjoying an occasional book now and then, without rushing – enjoying the scenes, ….. (shhhh….I used to read the back page too–) At this point it is a matter of organization- I’m researching the best ways to be an organized writer- and like you said, there is no time like the present to learn!!!
This is exactly what happened to me! Unfortunately, I a still a bad reader sometimes. There are times when I really like a book that is patient, but then there are other times I just want to finish.
I’m also doing the chapter here, chapter there, approach with A Tale of Two Cities. I read it before in school, so I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything, and I can take it nice and slow. Wish me luck as I become a better reader!
I wish you luck- I’m finding that though life is still busy, it isn’t what it was before- I can actually take a few minutes- and now I take my time. I’m still reading Les Miserables- but in no hurry- just enjoying..
I think you are so right–I need to become a better reader!
Maybe when your days became a tiny bit slower, like mine did, you will also become a better reader??? 🙂
A sparkling, amorevolous, and alive text. Makes for very good reading, arousing just the very next shade of curiosity where all this story may end up with.
One of the very best I read from your blog until now. 😀