Sunday, November 2, 2008

Edit-itis

I'm wondering if I'm the only one who suffers from this particular malady? I have a stack of books next to my bed, another in a basket by the couch, and yet another in the bathroom. All of them are perfectly reasonable books, some better than others, but none horrendously written. Yet they all have one thing in common - I've only gotten through a few chapters before giving up.

I usually love reading. But because I'm in the editing stages of two novels, I can't seem to shake this rather serious case of edit-itis. I'll jump into a new novel, excited about the upcoming adventure, but then instead of thinking about the story I'm thinking: "Author intrusion!" "Two pages of narrative summary? Come on! Cut...cut...cut!" "Telling, telling, telling. Show me something!"

It's not that these authors are bad...it's just that my brain can't stop looking for the defects in their writing. And the pleasure has been sucked out of the reading. In fact, I'm getting pretty good at Sudoku, since that's where I usually end up in my brief moments of downtime. J.K. Rowling is the only author I've found so far that I've been able to get through without the disease kicking in.

So I'm curious. Does anyone else suffer from this rather serious malady? Is there any hope? Any suggestions? Any other authors whose writing is immune? Help!

11 comments:

Karlene said...

Me. Horribly. I even found things in Rowling. However, with hard work and lots of practice, I've learned to tolerate some things. But it does make it so that I can't finish many books that others seem to really enjoy. And it makes it hard to give glowing reviews to anyone.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I would hate to have the joy of reading taken from me like that. Sorry!

Barbaloot said...

Well...being that I'm not a writer, that's not a problem for me:) My problem is I get too into what I'm reading and drop everything else until I've finished it.

And also, about your comment on my blog, I have a big container of baby powder in my bathroom used for the days my hair is struggling:)

Kimi said...

That reminds me of Bob and his musician's brain. Poor guy can't fall asleep to music like I love to, because he can't help dissecting it and analyzing it, effectively keeping himself awake in the process. Sad, sad, sad. I don't know which is worse, to not be able to fall asleep to music or to not be able to ignorantly and blissfully enjoy any ol' half decent book! I can even read AND listen to music. At the same time! I'm sorry for you both. And feeling pretty happy about my relative dimwittedness right about now.

Suzanne Reese said...

barbaloot, Keems, & Alyson, thanks for your sympathy!
Karlene,
Good to know I'm not alone. I guess I'll have to think twice about asking you for a review. On the upside, I know I'd be flattered with a good one!

Tristi Pinkston said...

I'm in your same boat. Because I edit for other people as well as myself, I can't read anything without that editor hat. I edit billboards, tickers, anything I read. It's a sickness! I need a cure!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hold it -- I just saw on your sidebar that you have a book coming out? When? Where? With who? How cool are you!! Congrats!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Awesome about your book! We'll both be with CFI!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Yeah, it's me again -- I promise I'm not stalking you. :)

But I tagged you:

http://tristipinkston.blogspot.com/2008/11/updates-from-world-of-tristi.html

Taffy's said...

Hi Suzanne! I came home and looked you up! I think I would like to have edit-itis!! You go girl!

Anna Maria Junus said...

It's not a sickness with me but it has happened.

It happened when I reviewed a book for CF. Everyone raved about this book but I had problems with it because of all the problems I could see in it.

I really did want to jump on the bandwagon and rave about the book, but I couldn't.