I love reading as most other writers I know will also admit to. I think reading is the gateway to writing and visa versa. So what do I read? I read a bit of everything from sci-fi to fantasy to fiction to historical fiction and most anything in between. I do read a lot of novels for adults but because of the teacher in me and the YA writer too, I often find myself reading YA novels.
I am just as much of a vampire lover as the next person. As a teen I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Stephen King’s Salem’s lot, and got started on Anne Rice‘s The Vampire Chronicles. While I was at university doing my degree in teaching reading, I discovered my favourite vampire writer of the time was a teenage girl by the name of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. I also read The Vampire Diaries during those years. In the past few years there seems to have been no shortage of vampire literature for me to sink my teeth into… pun slightly intended.
Only recently have I read The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. If you are not familiar with them they feature 16-year-old brainiac Claire Danvers who leaves the safety of her home behind and travels to Morganville to attend Texas Prairie University. Soon she finds out the town is crawling with vampires.
I have already read the first three books in this series and have recently purchased the next three. So what is the problem? First I would like to clarify that I know I am still a novice writer, who is still learning my craft, which will take a lifetime to master, so I am not really in a position as a writer to say anything about another writers style, choice of words or anything else for that matter.
As an avid reader however, I feel I have a little more authority. As a reader, I have found these novels slightly addictive, hence reading them beyond the first novel, the story idea is fascinating and intriguing enough that you want to carry on reading to find out what happens next. The author has done a fabulous job of hooking her readers and getting them interested in her characters.
If I read the word yelped, to describe the protagonist’s reaction to something, one more time, I may just lose it. My feeling on this is that puppies yelp. Humans like Claire Danvers, cry out in pain, they shout, they scream, they cry, they occasionally whimper but they may only once or maybe even twice in a novel at a push yelp. Poor Claire is yelping all the time and it appears to be contagious.
What has this done for my own writing? Well I have been going through my novels and making sure that there is not too much repetition in the action tags or anywhere else that may cause a reader to become annoyed by my choice or lack of variety of words.
So, how about you? What are your thoughts? Have you ever read a book that annoyed you, yet you still enjoyed it?