That's the question being asked this month by Insecure Writer's Support Group, an online writer's support group that encourages us to share our writing experiences with a monthly blog post.
So, what I notice most when I'm reading is what strategies the writer uses -- and how effective they are. For me, it doesn't matter what genre I'm reading. Does the story (its characters, plot, setting, conflict, style, and, yes, even theme) pull me into an authentic experience?
Do I care about grammar and punctuation? Only if any errors distract me from the story. Who really cares about a missing comma or two? But 5-10 errors a page (even in an e-book), kills my interest in reading a particular story, for it makes me wonder what else the writer has overlooked.
To report on my own progress for this last month is a bit of a challenge. We've been on the road. That means long hours of driving, and laptop and sewing machine in the car as we head south, scooting away from winter's snow. We've had a leisurely trip down the coast of Oregon (once we were past that foot of snow dumped in Portland overnight earlier in the month), and on past the rainy redwoods along the California coast.
I did finish the draft of Section 03 for my wip, Rivers of Stone, a top goal for this month, but once we reached Phoenix (think a beautiful sunny day and 61 F), we got news that my husband's 96-year-old mother was very ill. So we've flown north, arriving here in Philadelphia, just in time to spend a few precious days with her before her passing. Death can be transformative for those who remain, changing irrevocably relationships and our sense of the past, as we relive and cherish memories.
I hope the coming month is a good one for you -- may each day be sunny and may you find many good words to read and to write.
|Manito Park, early spring|