I’m currently reading contest entries for the RITA contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America. These are published novels and I’m struck by how much I love being drawn into a story. I love finding characters I want to spend time with. I love finding characters I cheer for as they grow over the course of the story and find true love.
I love to be surprised. I love when an author finds a way to handle a situation that I would not have thought of—so long as it’s consistent with how someone might really act or react.
I love having a story tug at my emotions. I love even more when the story causes me to explore my own ideas and feelings and challenge assumptions I’ve held in the past.
I love books that make me think, that expose me to situations or places or people I might otherwise never know.
In many ways, it’s easier for me to read a book than to watch a movie. I think it’s because I get to decide how the people look and sound. I get to fill in all sorts of details in my mind instead of a director doing so—possibly in ways I dislike. I get to put the book down and think about what I’ve read and then pick it up again and go on with the story.
Maybe that’s why I love to teach and coach other writers. I love the idea that maybe one day one of my students will write one of those stories that tug at my heart and make me think and enrich my life.
Gee, can you tell I love to read?