I’ve Been Reading Instead of Writing Again. (Bad Writer!)

Today I was going to post a short story introducing the first character in my second novel.  The reason I spared you?  It ended up being over 2,700 words.  I’ve done several longer posts recently, so I thought I’d give your eyes a rest.  Also, there’s death involved (of course.)  I need to give that a rest, too 😉

 Instead, I decided to do an update to my recent post about book purchases.  In the last two weeks I’ve read three books (one of which was leftover from last year.)  Some call it entertainment, I’ll call it research.  Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of what I thought:

The Book of Love (by Kathleen McGowan)

What I liked:  I loved the storyline of Matilda of Tuscany.  I liked the blending of real characters and events with fictional twists.  I was also intrigued by the idea of the Church hiding historical information because it contradictwd their doctrines.  It was easy for me to believe it could happen.

What I didn’t like:  The modern-day character wasn’t memorable.  To be fair, this was book 2 in a series and I didn’t read the first one.  I also had trouble believing the character wouldn’t be more careful, especially knowing that someone is after her.

Recommended? Overall, I enjoyed it, so, “yes.”

Beyond the Shadows (by Robin Lee Hatcher)

What I liked:  The author made me care for the main character.  Though I’ve never lived with an alcoholic, I could relate to her struggle of not knowing how to make life right.  It was a desperate story but ended on a note of hope.

What I didn’t like:  Some of the dialogue didn’t feel ‘real.’  The too-ordinary names chosen for Gideon’s older brothers made them feel “flat.”  Gideon was the main male character, and his older brothers were “Jack” and “Bob”.

Recommended? If you don’t mind strong Christian theme (prayer and struggling to follow God’s way is a major part of the story) I think it’s a good read.

In a Perfect World (by Laura Kasischke)

What I liked:  I liked the evolution of the relationship between the main character and her teenage stepdaughter.

What I didn’t like:  The oldest teenage daughter wasn’t memorable.  I felt cheated because the front of the book promised a “riveting ending.”  When I got to the end, I actually flipped the page, hoping there was more.  There wasn’t.

Recommended?  No, not really.  However, if you like end-of-the-world stories, it may have some appeal.  Had I realized it was this type of story, I would’ve passed on reading it.


So, what about you – do you go through phases of reading where writing gets neglected (or vice-versa)?


16 thoughts on “I’ve Been Reading Instead of Writing Again. (Bad Writer!)

  1. Tori Nelson July 14, 2011 / 7:21 AM

    I think I pick one or the other without realizing it! I will have weeks I feel like I’ve been so productive, writing, writing, writing, only to notice that I’ve totally failed to read a single page of anything (except for blog posts, of course!).

    • jannatwrites July 14, 2011 / 9:35 PM

      I do that, too. I guess it’s a natural tendency. Now, I need to divert my focus back to writing because that novel isn’t going to write itself 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Tori!

  2. Amanda Hoving July 14, 2011 / 8:31 AM

    I definitely go through these reading or writing phases. I can’t seem to do both very well at the same time. Thanks for sharing these reviews.

    • jannatwrites July 14, 2011 / 9:36 PM

      Maybe I’m normal, then? (Okay, probably not – but at least I’m not the only one whose reading/writing isn’t balanced.) Thanks for your visit today, Amanda!

  3. T. S. Bazelli July 14, 2011 / 9:02 AM

    Oh I’ve been looking for books to read lately. I’m on the opposite side of the scale right now. I need to do more reading, but I just can’t focus because I’m writing 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 14, 2011 / 9:37 PM

      I wish I had that problem, Tess. I’m glad you’re making lots of progress, though!

  4. nrhatch July 14, 2011 / 11:43 AM

    I’ve books gathering dust that I want to read . . . never enough time for everything.

    • jannatwrites July 14, 2011 / 9:39 PM

      I’ve seen the pictures of Florida that you post…I can totally understand why you don’t get to reading, Nancy 😉

  5. pattisj July 14, 2011 / 2:17 PM

    You need to delete “Bad Writer” from your title. I’ve read that writers need to read to improve their craft. You’re doing research. You’ve learned things you will not do in your book, like selecting character names, and having a good ending. 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 14, 2011 / 9:41 PM

      I’ve not written anything (except blog posts) for three weeks now. I’m afraid I’ve developed a bad habit by now 🙂

      For now, I’ll stick with the ‘research’ idea and hope it has a positive influence on my writing. Thanks for your nice comment, Patti.

  6. timweaverwrites July 14, 2011 / 3:23 PM

    You are much too harsh on yourself, Janna. Allow me:

    Bad writer. No more books for you!

    See how silly that is?

    Go back to reading.

    • jannatwrites July 14, 2011 / 9:45 PM

      Oh, I’m not beating myself up over this – but I do want to put down the novels and write. (I exhibit the same willpower I have when dessert is placed in front of me…none!) It seems I don’t know the meaning of “moderation”…or it could be that I just choose to ignore it 😉

      Thanks for your ‘permission’ to read, but I’m going to hold off on another novel for a few weeks. Glad you added your two cents, Tim.

  7. pattyabr July 15, 2011 / 1:42 PM

    thanks for the book reviews. I read alot of book reviews but, because I feel my reading time is precious, I am very particular about what book I pick up and spend my time with. I just finished reading The Help. I was pleasantly surprised how easy a read it was and how much I enjoyed it. It was set during the early 60s when I was a toddler and preschooler. It makes me look at that time in history much differently than before.

    • jannatwrites July 15, 2011 / 10:00 PM

      I looked up The Help and it’s gotten a ton of reviews – most of them favorable. I’m glad you enjoyed the book. I had seen a movie trailer for the movie and thought it looked interesting. I’m curious how it will compare to the book. I may just have to do my own comparison there 😉

      Thanks for sharing your recent book experience, Patty!

  8. Debbie July 16, 2011 / 8:26 AM

    Janna, you’re not a “bad” writer — you’re just normal! We all go through phases where we kind of neglect our writing for other things (work, reading, whatever), but I think that’s a necessary thing to stoke the fires and help us write better, as long as we don’t neglect the Muse too long!

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2011 / 7:51 PM

      Thanks for the encouragement, Debbie – I appreciate it. I’ve seen the phases in my own world. In fact, I don’t expect to have time for any “real” writing until September.,,but I’d like to prove myself wrong! I’m crossing my fingers the Muse won’t give up on me 🙂

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