Welcome to Anita's Attic
I just read that the pink ribbon hat Princess Beatrice wore for the royal wedding sold on eBay for over $131,000. The only good thing I can say about that hat is that the proceeds of its sale raised money for charity. Quite a bizarre fashion statement, but it got me to thinking about hats; in this case, metaphorical hats. For most writers, our love of stories began as readers. When I was young, I was fascinated by the worlds I found between the pages of a book. I still am. It never occurred to me that I might write one myself until a few years ago. I had been on a reading jaunt that was about as insane as that hat the Princess wore, when it occurred to me that I could write a story. Or so I thought. I found out that writing a good story wasn’t as easy as I’d expected. But I learned and I persevered and here I am, with a Scottish paranormal series and an author hat to go with my reader hat.
When reading for pleasure, I can completely lose myself in a story. Nothing matters but those characters and that plot. I’m not picky about those little technicalities that drive writers and editors crazy. I’m there, living the characters’ joys and their woes. But if I put on that author hat and read, it becomes an entirely different thing. I start seeing the creation of the story, the way the author strung the words together to build the plot, to create characters. Are there too many adverbs, not enough sentence variation, too much telling – not enough showing? Is the writing just not engaging enough? Or did the author do something that was brilliant, that made me gasp in awe and feel the bite of envy? Sometimes that author’s hat gets in the way. Instead of just enjoying a movie, I’m busy analyzing the plot, because as a writer I know where the story should go. It can take away from the enjoyment of books or movies if you’re not careful. But if you’ve hit a wall, that hat can come in handy.
A few times as I was writing Awaken the Highland Warrior, either my warriors weren’t behaving, or my writing just seemed to dry up. I think I needed to step away and look at the story fresh. If I had that luxury, I took it, but if I was pushed for time, I grabbed a book, put on my author hat and read a few paragraphs, and I was back in the game. So I love both my hats, I really do, and I think there’s a time and place for each.
What about you? Do you have a reader and an author hat?