Thursday, May 13, 2010

Take Time to Read! by DL Larson

There comes a time when I've finished one book buy have yet to begin working on another. I call it my free time. My writing has quieted for the moment and I take that opportunity to read, read, read! Right now I'm in my free time. I just finished two of P.C. Cast's vampire books - 'Betrayed,' and then 'Chosen.' I'm anxious to finish the rest in the series. Her characters are real to life and face huge problems. Unfortunately I don't have time to read only one author and move on to Simone Eckles, 'Perfect Chemistry,' another Young Adult book I've been wanting to read. Her characters are many layered, intriguing with serious issues they must solve in order to move on in life. The character development in Eckles' story is better than attending a class on character building.

The other book I'm reading, I brought home from the Spring Fling Conference. I'm not familiar with this author, she's British, but I'm enjoying an adult book, called 'Perfect Timing,' by Jill Mansell. Her style is completely different than most American writers and once getting used to the POV hopping about, I'm enjoying the read tremendously.

I'm used to one point of view at a time, whether it be several paragraphs or pages. The British novel I'm currently reading has three or four POVs all mixed together. I'm not sure why and at first I was quite appalled since I take great pains in separating my characters' POV. Once I got over my shock, I easily jump right along with the characters, each revealing in their own quirky way what they think I need to know in order to stay involved with the story. It's an odd read, interesting, but not so grand in showing other writers how to write. I think only a very few can write like this and get away with it.

The important thing is I'm taking time to read for enjoyment. I rarely allow myself the indulgence to read so many books in such a short time. Don't get me wrong, I'm always reading something, but to simply read like others do, well, it's a real treat to read just for the pleasure of experiencing a good story. Working at a library, I see folks devour a set of books by one author and I envy them the luxury of having time, taking the time to read like that and emerse themselves in one particular writer. I'm still at that point if I read too much of any one author, I can pick up a pen and sound just like them. The last thing I want as a writer is folks saying I write just like so and so.

Before I get back to serious writing, I also plan to revisit one of my favorite authors. I want to reread one of Diane Gabaldon's novels from her Outlander Series. When I read her stories, I come away feeling as if I've just been through the most wonderful writing exercise. I'm anxious to start on something new and just get at it!

Reading for enjoyment fills all my empty spots as a writer, much like a mini vacation without the suitcase of dirty and rumpled clothes. I don't know how long this free time of mine will last, probabaly only a few more days before I begin writing again. But until then, it may be cold and rainy outside, I, on the other hand, am on my cozy porch, snuggled up with a good book.

How about you, what have you been reading lately?

Til next time ~

DL Larson

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