Critical Reading

Is ignorance bliss? Seriously, I really want to know. Is it really nice moving through life not really knowing what makes a story good or great – bliss?

I only ask because after I’ve taken my writing class, I feel as if a veil has been taken off my eyes. As I read I am more aware of the different techniques that are being used to create the various tales. However, I’m also a little disappointed as well, because I feel like I’m being too critical. Stories that I used to love I am now ripping apart, thinking about what could have made the story even better. Sometimes I feel like too much knowledge is a curse, however it does have an upside.

After my writing class, I am now able to determine why it is exactly that a story didn’t resonate with me, or why I hated a particular character or scene. Before this class I would’ve been very vague and just said, “I didn’t care for it.” However, now I can say that the characterization of the main character didn’t make me love them. In some instances I’ve read stories, where the author kept the reader at a distance from the main character for far too long and by the time they opened their character up to us, I could’ve cared less with what happened to them. As I’m reading I want to get into the character’s head and feel what they are feeling. When that doesn’t occur I’m really disappointed and almost feel like I wasted my time when I really wanted to get lost in their world.

Over all I really like the fact that I can now pinpoint what did or didn’t work for me in a story. Ignorance is not bliss to me. It’s really irritating because I want to be able to articulate why I didn’t care for a story. I feel like I need to be able to do that, so I won’t do the same things in my own story.

So keep reading, keep learning what makes a story great and see that not only your reading evolve, but also your writing. Because now you know what makes a story great!

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