Writer’s Log: 2479

An experiment…


His fingers stroked the scars on her belly and his eyes moved from those marks to her face. A question formed on his brow. “Does…”

She snatched his hand and held it up. “I recall only the memory of the pain, not the pain itself.” She strengthened her grip. “There was agony, tearing and pressure so great I feared it would explode my mind.” She felt his discomfort and released him. “But, most of all, I remember the terror thinking that the pain would never end.”

“And… And then it did?”

Her rictus, induced by the memory, eased and the tautness in her voice returned to the purr she typically used with him. “Indeed, it did.” She pulled the rough shirt back over her stretch marks.

“Was it worth it?”

“Time will tell.”

He gave a puff to blow the red dust from the surface of her jacket and nestled his head in the crook of her arm. “Will I ever feel such pain?”

With a chuckle she ruffled his curly brown hair. “You should be so lucky.”


And now the poll: In what state of mind did you read this bit?

♥ As a reader with an open mind as to what the text would offer?

♣ As an editor with a critical eye to the words, the sentences, the structure?

♠ As a skeptic, editor first and reader second?

How do you find your mind when you enter into reading works on the Web? Or works in general? Open to the author’s words or doubtful of the author’s abilities? Has this mental state been consistent over time? Or have you changed your perspective regarding the consumption of media? And over what time period or experiential events did you change?


28 thoughts on “Writer’s Log: 2479

  1. many factors come into play — since I first met you in the comments section of mydangblog, already I had to figure you had half a brain. then the comment you left at my site was smart & witty, so by the time I checked you out here, starting with this post, I was in the frame of mind to expect something good… which set up the idea that ‘rictus’ must’ve been used thoughtfully & you probably have a sense of humor… as for ‘editing’, I know too well that it’s hard to catch every one of our mistakes, so they have to be pretty glaring & numerous for me to care in this format… lovely post & great q’s — have you considered using adding a poll to a post?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi da-AL. I think I’ve tried polls a few years ago, but the response was lackluster, so I abandoned them. Maybe I’ll give them another whirl. Thanks for the comment, and, it’s nice to you wandering over here. We’re utterly crass and irreverent so, fore warned is fore armed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Always with an open mind to the text. I make note of things that don’t quite work but I never share my editor’s eye unless I’m asked to. To be honest, I do so much editing that it’s nice just to read for pleasure, and your writing always provides that:-)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Knowing me, you can guess: ♥ As a reader with an open mind as to what the text would offer. Totally open. But yeah, the word Rictus slapped me in the face. The Joker has a rictus smile, most people wouldn’t know what the word meant so I found it jarring and threw me off my pace. My reading stopped and my mind went “WTF!?”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I go into things as a reader first because I think it’s only fair to the writer. My brain tends to try and guess the psychological state of the writer and I attempt to get a sense of the whole piece and extract a meaning from it that I think the author would like to convey. I usually have to read things a few times because my short term memory is that bad. The editor rears its head when a certain quota of awkward things is met. And a lot depends on who’s doing the posting and why. In your post today, admittedly my brain first thought, “How well will he depict the woman’s state of mind?” But I suspend judgement to the end. I like the contrast between the saucy “Time will tell” and motherly “You should be so lucky.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When you hit that word “rictus” (which I debated for a few seconds when writing this), did you revert to editor and that was it? Suspicions aroused, writer-radar triggered? Or did it ease and you could finish in reader mode?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. PLEASE share the results and analysis with us in a future post. I’m really curious to see what your conclusions are.

    I read this as an open-minded reader, trying to guess where the story was going.

    That is my default ‘state of mind’ when it comes to reading things. HOWEVER – and this might be the part that’s important to your research – it changes somewhat based on my prior knowledge of the author. When I know what to generally expect from a specific source, my expectations adjust accordingly. That does not mean that I am 100% biased. It just means that I am PREPARED to read something I need to pick apart, disagree with, etc.

    Obviously, whenever I was/am asked to put on my editor’s hat, I do so, but even then – I like to read things as a reader first, and THEN come back to edit.

    Back in the day, opinion pieces were clearly labeled, so I would go in knowing that it might or might not be something that I will agree with. Nonetheless, I read it to either strengthen my beliefs or to educate myself about the potential counterarguments.

    I don’t think my process has ever changed. I’m just more weary at times.

    It is also possible that I completely missed the mark and rambled about something completely off-topic…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. We’ll see who deigns to comment… That is, with the intent expected.

      You picked up on the thread, perfectly.

      I never go in with an open mind regarding quality. Content? Sure. I welcome controversy. But I can no longer toss aside this editors chapeau; I wear it constantly.

      I just wonder if other feel differently. It’s nice to know that at least one, you, come in with an eye for the story first.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Interesting question. Thinking…

          First thoughts: When I began to really try to write better, I questioned everything I wrote (still do). That soon translated over to my reading of other works of fiction. And soon, well, I couldn’t turn it off. I judge every sentence, every word choice for every bit of fiction I read. It totally sucks. I’ve written about this before “writing ruined reading”.

          I’ve read other reflections of writers on this, and yeah, it’s apparently a thing. Some, like yourself, can turn it off. Good for you. Never lose that.

          Liked by 2 people

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