My sweetie writes a lot. A LOT. His output is about double what mine is, and mine isn’t necessarily something you sneeze at.

I am his first reader. That means everything he writes, I read first, with what I would call a critical reader’s eye.

I am not reading like a writer. Nor am I reading with the goal of critique, or tearing apart.

Instead, I’m reading with more sensitivity than when I do when I’m merely reading for pleasure. While he gives me clean copy, he still misses words. Anytime I have to read a sentence two or three times in order to parse it, I mark it as awkward. I fix small words, like last night he wrote “from” when he meant “front”. Etc.

I also let myself enjoy the story. I leave lots of smily faces, giggles, and snorts in my commentary as well.

Plus, once I’m finished, I think about overall things like story and character arc, did the story as a whole satisfy me or is he missing scenes, does he need more to something, etc.

One of the things I’ve discovered is that it’s really hard for me to switch gears, as it were. I can’t be reading that closely, then not read that closely for the next thing. In other words, I can’t immediately start reading for pleasure after reading critically for a while. It takes a day or so for me to make the switch.

Last night I finished reading the eighth Jessica Keller book. It’s delightful. I think his other readers are really going to enjoy this one.

However, I finished early. I couldn’t just pick up some fiction to read, and I didn’t want to start on reading his next novel. (I get to read three of his novels this month.) I was also transferring files between computers, so I really couldn’t get more work done either.

I goofed off for a bit, played some silly games on my phone (my one true vice) before I found that I was thinking of the next thing I plan on writing.

I’ve always said that I have a two story brain. While I’m writing one story in the mornings (and OMG am I having fun with this one!) I can do research and world building for the next one.

The current story is silly and fun and quite possibly the start of a series.

The next story is what I’m calling an origin story for the novels I plan on writing soon.

The basic premise: In the end, physics fails mankind. The only way to travel the great distances between the stars is through magic.

This story that I’m currently planning out is one of the major turning points, when the NASA engineers are introduced to a warlock (the oath breaker). There is EASILY a novel’s worth of story here. I’m trying to cut it back to the simple 1-2-3 formula: One problem, two characters, three thousand words.

I don’t know if that’s possible with the story I have in mind. But I love a good challenge.

I hope you’re having a wonderful Friday!