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    From Fiction To Non-Fiction

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    Paeter
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    From Fiction To Non-Fiction

    Post  Paeter on February 9th 2017, 9:04 am

    Until just recently I've been trying to find a fiction novel I'd really enjoy reading. I used to read fiction on a regular basis, for years. But for months I've tried to enjoy some fiction and had no success. I've tried new books by authors I've previously loved and even started re-reading Brent Weeks' Night Angel trilogy, my favorite novels of all time.

    I got about a chapter and a half in before losing interest.

    Then I decided to try a book on church history I've been meaning to get to for years and have been enjoying that every night during my reading time before bed. I've also recently gained an interest in trying out a few non-fiction books that I think might have usefulness to me or other geeks.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Whether it's a season or a transition, I don't know. But I'm curious if anyone else has experienced all fiction reading just falling flat to be replaced by non-fiction.


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    mikel.withers

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    Re: From Fiction To Non-Fiction

    Post  mikel.withers on February 9th 2017, 1:06 pm

    I like to throw in some non-fiction every now and then. Mostly history.
    Then again I listen to books a lot more than I read, per se. So a book needs to be entertaining or thought provoking enough to keep my mind on it. And a decent narrator is a must. In fact, a good narrator can make a book interesting. Tobruk by FitzSimons and read by Humphrey Bower, Civilization by and read by Niall Ferguson, and A History of Britain by Simon Schama read by Timothy West all fit the entertaining non-fiction.
    As far as CS Lewis is concerned, I much prefer his non fiction.
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    Reed Benson

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    Re: From Fiction To Non-Fiction

    Post  Reed Benson on February 10th 2017, 7:23 am

    I used to collect Stephen King novels, but I didn't read very many of them. Long fiction books intimidate me if I can see the amount of pages I have left. If I read them on Kindle or listen to the audio book, I can usually handle it. But if I see a physical non-fiction book on a topic I'm interested in, it doesn't usually bother me.

    I think I'm just bored by a lot of the descriptive parts of fiction writing. My imagination is sadly limited; if you describe a person or place, odds are I won't be able to picture him/her/it unless I've actually seen him/her/it. Usually when I read fiction, I'll have one character in my head looking like a real person, and another like a Simpsons character just because it's the only thing that my mind can conjure up. It's rather annoying, so I usually go for non-fiction or fiction that has pictures available or has had a movie made of it. For example, I finally read The Lord of the Rings last year, and I kept having to Google characters' names so I could see what they were supposed to look like.
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    Christopher Schmitz

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    Re: From Fiction To Non-Fiction

    Post  Christopher Schmitz on February 10th 2017, 9:07 am

    I've experienced this... but maybe more through the context of my life than just a "sudden mood/tastes change" that leaned more to a different genre. When I was going though my classes to get my Master's in religion I read nonfiction exclusively. I read only nonfic for classes and read some nonfic for ministry/personal development and found myself (maybe for the first time ever) actually buying and reading more than one nonfic a year for personal reading/enjoyment. When I realized I hadn't read a novel in like 5 years (something I often did just for me) I returned and realized how much I missed fiction. It even rekindled my fiction writing and led to me publishing so many novels so quickly.

    life makes us change and so our tastes in reading change because of life's demands or shifting preferences. it'll probably change again. (even our tastebuds die, regrow, and alter our flavor palette every few years.)

    Reed Benson also hints at something: too much description. This is especially true of indie or first time authors... sometimes writers try to wax eloquent and overdo description which means they shift into a passive voice. I heard a literary agent at a convention panel once say "if the opening scene is a description of the weather i throw out the manuscript and blacklist the author." Somethings are inexcusable (because they turn readers away from reading in general) like excessive use of passive voice or passive writing (basically "john had always been fast and was running from a man who looked like might have been underfed and appeared angry with john enough to potentially hit him." --bad writing.... "John ran faster than his skinny assailant.").
    I learned that lesson early on. Then again I love action (I was once told by a reader they couldn't put the book down because of the constant action--like, they felt like they literally couldn't breathe.)
    Another time a first-time author read my book and privately criticized my writing for not being descriptive enough and writing aside paragraphs to detail things. I had actually ripped out most of those parts intentionally because of the above issue (which HIS book really suffered from but he couldn't see it yet as a fresh author). I've learned it's best (for most people) to use only a few key descriptive tags and then pepper other, nearby paragraphs with describers adjectivally. (I may have described a woman as having pale skin and freckles. in the next paragraph she "playfully flips her crimson hair as she talks." and in the next paragraph you might notice the throwing knives strapped against the black material of her tactical pants.

    of course, rules for writing were different fifty years ago which is why older works can wax eloquent, over-use descriptors, etc. and be described as classics. It's similar to music. A modern band making music exactly like the Beattles would be called crap, too simplistic, untalented, and the like. Modern expectations for an entertainment/artistic craft change through time.

    wow. I rambled.

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    Re: From Fiction To Non-Fiction

    Post  jazzact13 on March 4th 2017, 12:34 pm

    I think I have had that kind of thing happen, yes. Maybe a part of it is that, while I certain kinds of stories that I like to read, after a bit those stories begin to seem very similar to each other.

    So I'll sometimes find some reading that's about some small interest I might have. Last year, in the fall, I read some books about what we nowadays call The Silk Roads, the trading routes that for about 2000 years connected the Mediterraenean World, Europe and The Middle East and even parts of Africa, with China and other Asian nations. It was fascinating to read about how much, and how little, these far-off places knew about each other. And looking at the from the idea of religious views may have been spread, especially Christianity, it was fascinating when brief mentions were made of evidences of Christian churches in those Asian places, often with little or no record of how the message may have gotten there or who brought it.

    Here's a video I watched about it at that time. It was done quite a while ago, but it was still an enjoyable look into that part of the world.


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