for your own writing, that is!
Recently I was gifted the 1st book in a cozy mystery series. The premise was great, the plot good, the main character likable & interesting - but, the writing was definitely not up to par. I can say this because two pages into the book, I was revising it in my head.
I thought about stopping reading - you know - time is precious when you're an author & also have a full-time day job & other commitments on your time. However, I was in the middle of working on a revision of my own & I realized that some of the errors the cozy mystery author was guilty of were awfully familiar! I went back and looked at my own story & Oops! I was doing the same things I was mentally correcting in the "bad" book!
There is plenty to be said for reading good literature and attempting to emulate it (not copy - but write up to those standards.) But, after my experience - I'm thinking reading books that are not great is a good idea, too. Because, a really well-written story doesn't make you stop and take pause at the writing the way a mediocre one will.
I think you can learn from both the bad and the good. It's a pleasant coin to have in one's pocket! What do you think?
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