Monday, October 21, 2013

Speed reading - don't do it!

I've been getting an AWFUL lot of messages from folk via email and the official Wereworld Faceache page who have read War of the Werelords and are dismayed by certain deaths, one in particular. Firstly, I'd just like to say war is cruel, it's tough, it's heartless and people can and will die. Not everyone escapes unscathed. More importantly, though, can I ask you to please RE-READ the final chapter again, only this time, soak it up, take it easy, read carefully what is said.

Either I've been too clever by half and far too subtle or there are a great many people who just speed-read these days. You miss so much when you skim - authors use all those words for a reason, you know? ;-) I don't want to get too preachy here (I do, actually), but so much of what characters think and feel is often hidden within the way they speak and think. It's the little things that can give away so much.

As an example, I got a message from one reader the other day exclaiming they had received book six in the post. They'd been very excited about the prospect of receiving it as had been clear from their updates online. However, later that SAME DAY I saw an update saying they'd read it and loved it... IN ONE DAY??? I expressed my surprise and disbelief, to which they happily replied they prided themselves on being a 'quick reader'. No, that's nowt to be proud of. Skimming a book is just that: you're catching one in every twenty words, you're absorbing the merest details from a page as your eyes scan over it. You're not enjoying the book as the author had intended. It's like ordering a seven course meal and only taking two or three bites from each dish.

Please don't speed read and then ask why certain things happen in my books or why so-and-so character snuffed it. You could be heartily sustained by a banquet. Instead you're settling for a happy meal. ;-)