Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Agendas. (Reading like a writer part II)

Agendas bug me. 

They kill the magic of a story.  I'll give you an example. 

I love Ratatouille.  

It's so well done.  I love the story, the concept, the characters, it's sheer entertainment.    

Now I'll compare that with another film... Walle.

I did NOT love Walle.  You want to know why?  

Yes it's cute.  The little robots, so fun...but you can't enjoy the story without being smacked over the head with the AGENDA.  Yes I believe taking care of the planet is a good thing.  And being fat and lazy, yeah not so good for your health.  But can't I just enjoy a movie every once in a while?

I would love to rehash all the books I've read where the agenda smacked me so hard I had to stop reading, but I'm afraid of the craziness that is the internets... (if you'd like an example of book reviewing gone wrong, check this out and follow the link...) 

It's lame I can't give my opinion on every book I read--I will gladly keep sharing the ones I love, but I don't want anything to come back and bite my hindquarters.

As for Disney movies that I review, I am so open to crazy opinions/comments/anger/etc. 

Has an agenda ever killed a story for you??  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Reading like a Writer

I feel kind of MIA the last couple of weeks, but biology has totally taken over.  I'm like one crazy lady/cleaning ninja--which is good, but really weird for me.  Ah, the joys of nesting.

I didn't give myself time to write, because everything feels like I NEED TO CLEAN/FIX/ORGANIZE THIS NOW!

But when I was utterly exhausted at the end of each day, I did, however, pull out a book.  Which leads me to todays topic:  Reading like a writer.

I think I have crossed that magic line.  And there is no going back.  The last probably four or five books I've read, I've totally picked apart and wished I could have critiqued the book before it went on market--(A little arrogant, I know--maybe it's the nesting thing manifesting itself in yet another way).

These were all books that had rave reviews... and yet I didn't love any of them.

One I was soooo excited to read, I've heard nothing but good things about this book.  But when I started reading, I was like NO! this was such a cool concept and totally missed the boat.  Maybe my expectations were a little high.

Another one was ruined by the ending, way to short, just stopped, it didn't feel finished.

Another took WAY too long to get the story going, and then the stakes felt weak.

Another book, part of a series felt really watered down and old hat, nothing felt really special like the first books.

So I pulled out a book that I loved and reread it.  It was better the second time around.  To me it has everything I like, the stakes are awesome, love story/interest is great--but not the main plot, the ending is amazing.   I know I've blogged about it before but the book is UNWIND by Neal Shusterman.

I tried to read it to see how he did things, to pick up what I love about the writing, but I got so lost in the story--I couldn't help but fly through it.

Part of me thinks this is a really good step to start reading more critically, the other part of me is like WHAT THE HECK? I just want to enjoy what I'm reading... but then when I do find something I love it makes it that much better.

A friend of mine, just recommended a series to me--she said after reading so many writing blogs she picked up on things that she wouldn't have noticed before, but that the book was still good and worth reading.  I'm hoping I'll just get lost in the story, we'll see.

Where do you fall?  Do you read like a writer?  Has it made you appreciate books more or less?