20 March 2017

Reading Your Own Story

I've kind of always had this idea that if you're not your own story's biggest fan, then you're doing something wrong. When you write something, you're not just telling any story. It's the story that you want to tell. It's something you're passionate about. You love (or hate...or both...) your characters; you want every moment to be absolutely perfect. You wouldn't write something that you wouldn't also want to read.

Unfortunately for me, sometimes reading my work can be distracting, but it has its benefits as well. I usually get into a "my writing is terrible no one will ever want to read it waaaaaaaaaah" mood and then I don't even look at my book for weeks or months. But when I actually go back and start reading, I think, "oh wait, I really like this." So reading serves as a bit of a confidence boost.

That's not to say that everything's perfect. I'm still editing, of course. But I do think the first two thirds of the book are pretty much all set, just need some minor edits along the way. So when I read through those chapters, I actually get sucked into my own story. Sounds silly, right? I mean, I wrote it. I already know what happens. But sometimes I can't help it. Despite all my self doubt and procrastination and lack of motivation, I really do love this story.

So occasionally I get sucked into my own story. Last week I finished my Chapter 5 edit and then I printed the next chapter so I could put the red pen to it. But it was pretty close to bedtime so I didn't really have the brain capacity for editing. I did still have some for reading, though. I read the whole chapter--no editing, just reading. I thought of a few ways to fix it, of course (mostly the fact that it's way too short and rushed) but I didn't write anything down.

The next time I booted up my laptop, I kept reading. I went onto the next chapter. And then the next. I had started reading at Chapter 6 and now I'm on 11. If I hadn't worked all weekend I'd probably be further. I know I should be editing, of course, but it's nice just to enjoy the story, too. It's fun to read lines I forgot about, find parts that make me laugh. I know which parts need a lot of work, and which parts just need some minor edits. And I know once I get past Chapter 17 I'm definitely not going to enjoy it as much. (Because the last third sucks!) But at least I'm enjoying it now.

So should I be trying to edit more? Probably. But at least I know, for now, that I do like my story.


  1. That's great that you're enjoying what you've written :-) I'm in the middle of editing just now and was surprised by some things that I had forgotten I had written which weren't all bad.

  2. True, if you don't like it, no one else will.
    When I heard my books on audio, I was sucked into the story because I couldn't believe I ever wrote them.

  3. There had been times when I was reworking and reworking a story and just sitting back and reading it (without editing or changing) was a relief. Sometimes, we need that. We need to be the reader of our story, not just the writer. :)

  4. I think your experience shows you have faith in what you're writing. If you can fall into your story after working so hard on it, that's a test of its worth. Good for you.

  5. It's always good to know that you like your own story. And you're right. If you're not its biggest fan, who will be?!

  6. I think you're enjoying your story then you're in the right direction with it. =)

  7. I would say it's definitely a good sign. If it's able to suck you in, when you wrote it, imagine the effect on other readers!

  8. I think it's great that you are enjoying your story. I also think that reading through it is a type of editing, even if it doesn't involve red pens. When we read through our writing, we are seeing a bigger content picture and that helps with the plot pacing.
    Happy writing, reading, and editing!

  9. You should do what I do prior to editing: printing out as you go along. That way, by the time you're done with the first draft, you got the next all ready for the red pen. And most definitely, if you're reading your story and enjoying it, it's a very good thing indeed.

    I Are Writer!