Difference Between Reading As A Reader And As A Writer

For the past few years, ever since I authored my works, I’ve been noticing a clear contrast to the way I look at a book. It seems there are two people in me when it comes to that: The reader and the writer.

I’ve been only a reader till I was 16 and when you’re like that, you only thoroughly enjoy the book, going, ‘Oh wow, what’s going to happen next?’, ‘Uh oh, no, don’t do that! Come on!’, ‘What a genius!’, ‘What. An. Idiot.’ … So basically, you keep talking to yourself as the book talks to you.

But once you shape-shift into the writer, it’s like a microscope is attached to your eyes. You don’t just enjoy the book or the re-read. You start scanning and examining it.

Let’s look more into this.

As A Reader:

You link yourself with the main character as you travel through the pages with them, regardless of whether you like the book or not.

As your interest in the book grows, you eagerly await the next chapter, enjoying the style of writing, the dialogues and the scenes, which are the main drives to keep you seated – or rather on the edge of it.

You feel emotional, ranging to all dimensions of the spectrum. Sometimes you want to give the protagonist a hug, sometimes you feel like bursting with happiness for them, sometimes you want to yell at them, and sometimes you’re constantly apologising to them because you’re too much in love with their love interests.

You love how you learn new words, phrases, idioms and adages.

If you’re best friend is as much of a reader as you and you enjoy similar books, the same as well, several inside jokes pertaining to the notable dialogues can be created. Your chats are so much fun to read through later.

You’re enriched with more understanding of how to use commas, quotation marks, colons, semi-colons, hyphens, the decent amount of full stops to denote a pause, when to use full capitals to show the person is either excited or mad, when to use italics to differentiate thoughts and stressed words from the normal style narrative. Because as far as I know, it’s not that fun when you have to learn these things for an exam. Books were the only teacher to show me how to make essays and short stories look pretty and decent on the paper. And I do all I can to make sure my presentation is pretty and decent for my eyes.

A milestone in your grammar. Your fluency in speech and confidence about the language gives you more backbone in front of a mike that’s in front of a shocking number of eyes that are on you.

As A Writer:

Now, this, is when things get interesting, weird and turn you into a scientist – we can call ourselves that, right? Right.

Whatever you enjoyed about your favourite book, everything, shines this blinding flash of light at you. You reach for your super glasses that can split every single colour in it into a clear distinction and there you sit staring, analysing the photons, neutrons and electrons that make them up.

The designs.

The patterns.

The entire matrix.

Researching one atom after the other.

How did this character start off and what has she/he given to the readers by the end?

Have they worked on their flaws?

What kind of flaws do they have?

Are those flaws appealing to the audience?

Are these flaws rational? Acceptable? Amusing? Irritating? Boring? Mundane?

Wait, are these flaws stereotypical? And if they are, is there a way to make them seem interesting? Words can work magic in astonishing ways.

But I can’t overestimate my writing skills like that. I’ll have to get *enter trusted friend’s name* to take a look at this. (A trusted best friend always points out ‘Meh, that’s tacky’ moments and scenes at the right places of the manuscript)

What’s the trick in crafting the protagonist’s attractiveness? Cause the words that give us the physical description have little to do with how the thoughts, actions and socialising habits influence the reader.

Did the author write this with a very well planned rough draft propped up beside her/him or did she/he just write whatever came to mind by shutting out the entire world?

Which technique is most appealing? Planning your novel or going on with the flow of what strikes you in the moment?

How did the author manage to distract me from the real unexpected villain? Cause in most books, you can predict who is the ultimate evil mind the moment they make their entrance in the story and all you want to do is bang your head against your desk.

What did the trick of having me sit up all night curled on the sofa with the book and close it thinking how this was so worth ditching my sleep?

How does the author make feelings and emotional moments captivating? Is there a particular acceptable length or amount permitted to brooding, reminiscing and breaking down and handling all of it that’s enough to melt hearts? Cause I know I otherwise can’t stand too much of emotions.

How did the author know how and when to reveal what to reveal to turn the tables around or give a huge twist to the story?

How did the author know how to tie all loose ends? Give an ending of satisfaction?

What made the author choose the title for the book?

How many characters apart from the main ones are here? What’s a reasonable amount? Who are the most valid? How has it been proved they are valid?

How has comic relief been given? How has it been made funny?

What makes this woman/man to be an intimidating villain? What makes us hate her/him so much?

How’s the story been written? Style of writing plays a humungous part in keeping the reader hooked. How has an otherwise bland scene crafted to be interesting?

And it goes on …

As you can see, reading as a writer is a motorway and reading as a reader is just a road in the street.

I may have excluded some points from both. I’d love to have the comment section own a lively and free atmosphere of colourful opinions contributed by your experiences of reading as a reader and as a writer so please feel free to share your thoughts.

Have a great day ahead!










6 Comments Add yours

  1. You’ve got all the points! That’s everything that goes through my mind when I read a book these days. The Writer’s perspective, I mean. It’s a little chaotic and downright off-putting when I’m trying to enjoy a good read. It becomes frustrating especially when I’m trying to read, say, on a long train journey. It feels like work.

    PS : I’ll re-blog this when I add the perspective of the Reviewer to my blog.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah, babe, it sometimes is off-putting when we can’t thoroughly enjoy the book, especially during the re-reads.

      I’m waiting eagerly for your “Reviewer Mode”!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. NJ says:

    It was interesting to read what goes in a writer’s mind. For me, I still enjoy the book while I am reading it, if I am thinking about the style of writing or the story I consider it as a loophole. I keep the investigative me hidden until I am done. I re-read certain chapters that I found interesting in terms of lesson to note down from but when I am reading I am all into it. May be your wiring works that way as you are constantly writing and you are published author so you know the real nuisances of writing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey, Neerja Di, sorry for the late reply. Yeah, my mind works two ways. Actually, I enjoy the book as a reader during my first read. No research actually goes on during that time. It’s during the re-reads that I switch modes 😀 It may hinder the reading experience on one hand, but on the other, it’s quite interesting to view a book in two different ways 😀

      Liked by 3 people

      1. NJ says:

        Don’t worry about replying late 😛 You are bride to be and you should take all your free time for yourself and your dreams 😉 It’s interesting 🙂 to know that you read a book two times 🙂 I just read a book only once 🙂 I just read few excerpts again 🙂 Glad to know your internal reading process 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. NJ says:

    Hi dear how are you doing? Is everything alright?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s