As a technical writer, I get paid to analyze technical documents; that is what I do all day. I can do it in my sleep, actually many nights I DO do it in my sleep, but that’s another blog post.
So why is it when I try to analyze something artistic my mind shuts down.
What, what are you doing? We were just reading that story.
I just want to analyze the writer’s use of language and her character development.
No, no you don’t! It’s a good story, let’s just read it and admire it. We like it, don’t we?
I do like it, but why do I like?
Who cares whyyyyyyy we like it. We just do.
But I would like to know more about how she built the story. Understand story arc and tension and scene construction.
Story arch? Tennyson? Scene of the crime? Aaaaah, sure. Let’s do that with the next book. Now, what page were we on?
And so it goes.
I even started a book club, through my writing group In Print Professional Writers Organization, for the express purpose of reading as writers [hence the name Writers as Readers (WAR) book club] to learn more about the craft of writing. The ladies in my group are much more literate about literature than I am. I am way out of my league.
During our discussions, members bring up such insightful observations about the books that we read while I just nod my head saying, “Oh yea, that was well done.”
My problem is I am so into the story (if it’s good) that I’m not paying attention to the nuts and bolts of the structure. I really have to work on that.
Still, I persevere. I have even thought of reading a book once for the sheer pleasure of it, then reading it a second time to study and analyze. Yea, that’s not happening.