Earlier today I read somebody’s post about omniscient point of view and how it has gone out of favour. These days we’re all urged not to head-hop and to use ‘deep third’ so our readers can really identify with our characters. These observations resonated with some other thoughts I’ve been having along those lines.
I’m re-reading Zahn’s ‘Outbound Flight’ because I like the Thrawn character and it’s a fun book. Now, when I first bought the novel I read it once, then immediately read it again – which is what I always do with books that really take my fancy. This was a few years ago. Since then, I’ve had a few books published myself. And Mr Zahn, who is a well-respected author, is guilty of so many things which would have him up before the Tribunal for Writing Rules. He uses a few too many adverbs. He uses (often) words other than ‘said’ as dialogue tags. Growled, snarled, ranted, snapped. I certainly didn’t notice any of these ‘flaws’ when I first read the book.
I think I have been educated to expect writing of a particular type. I admit, these days I don’t like head-hopping. I like to identify with a character and know what’s going through their heads. Too many adverbs and adjectives make me wince.
I really do wonder if I’d be hung up like this if I’d never done the writing courses, never received the crits from writers groups? In a way, it’s a shame because I’ve lost the simple pleasure of reading for the hell of it.
What about you, all you writers out there? Can you still just read for pleasure?