How Writing Has Changed My Enjoyment of Reading

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I find it less enjoyable reading most books since I’ve seriously been writing, although I appreciate the well-written book more than ever. For example, last night I started a space opera that’s a top ten-seller in its category on Amazon with good reviews. Clearly, lots of people like this book. However, several pages in the point-of-view character passes by a guard holding a rifle. For some reason, the author feels compelled to stop the whole story, and give us three sentences about the rifle. Now this data dump was small, and may be critical later in the story, but it wasn’t the thoughts of the pov character. It was just out-and-out author intrusion, which took me out of the story for a brief moment. I hate to be yanked out of a book like that.

In the author’s defense, weaving the technical stuff into a story isn’t easy. I was proud when a reviewer of my first book, Truth-Teller Rebellion, complimented me on the way I let the setting and Truth-teller world come out in the story, rather than giving it as a data dump.

I’ve found this even more challenging in Magellan’s Navigator, my historical fiction that is nearing completion. I believe a reader of Magellan’s Navigator will want to read about how sailing ships of the time worked and the circumnavigation of the world. I wanted to get that information into the story without slowing it down too much and without obvious author intrusion. It isn’t easy to do that. In the final analysis, that information isn’t the story, which is of the man, Francisco Albo, who piloted the one ship that made it around the world. The book is out with beta readers now. I hope they think I got the balance of story and historic content right.

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Filed under Art and Craft of Writing, Magellan's Navigator

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