Easy Reading is Damn Hard Writing

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Hmm, does easy reading mean hard writing?

I came across this quote the other day, and it really resonated with me for a number of reasons. I actually pondered over it for a number of hours (yes, I was procrastinating but so what 😀 )

Here are some of the thoughts that were floating around my head;

Does easy reading mean the author wrote it purposely that way?
How do you know that you’re writing a book that’s an easy read?
Does it mean the words aren’t complex enough, taking away from the author’s talent?
What actually constitutes an ‘easy read’? Is YA an easy read? Does it mean there are more pictures than words?

I looked the phrase up using the quoteinvestigator.com and the actual quote is attributed to several writers, with a very lengthy explanation that frankly bored the pants off me – and it didn’t answer my question.

So you may be wondering why I spent so much time dedicated to this phrase. Well, it’s simply because the book I have coming out, The Lie She Told, has been cited by several of the Reader Review Team as an ‘easy read.’

I’ve asked what they meant by that and the responses varied;
“It’s easy to follow the plot.”
“You write so tightly that not a word is wasted.”
“I realised that I don’t have to wade through thousands of words before I reach the conclusion.”

Hmm, interesting. I didn’t consciously write it that way. I think the reason the writing was ‘tight’ is down to the fact that the story, characters and setting had been floating around in my head for so long that when I finally plucked up the courage to commit it to screen I had already worked out the twists and plot points.

Another lovely and completely unexpected thing has happened as a result of writing an ‘easy read.’ People have fallen back in love with the art of sitting down with a book and taking time to read. I think during ‘lockdown’ readers went one way or another; they either devoured the equivalent of the British Library or they couldn’t concentrate on anything for longer than a few minutes.

]Quote text The Lie She Told And there was more over on Goodreads!

“This was a fast read but immersed me completely in the story.”

“Simply put, this book is a good, easy read.”

“I really enjoyed this book, it gripped me from page 1. I read it in 2 days.”

 “It was easy to get immersed in the story and the lives of the characters.”

“..and I needed up finishing the entire book in a single day.”

When these types of reviews started to land, I wasn’t sure if I should be offended (fragile ego, what can I say) but as my husband quite rightly pointed out, I’ve instigated their love of reading again how can that ever be a negative (he’s very well trained, my husband!).

But I think he’s right.

In a very uncertain, often scary and unpredictable world right now, an easy read is a good thing to have. For that moment, those minutes, hours you are escaping all that uncertainty and getting lost in a world and story where you don’t have to face reality for a short amount of time. It’s an indulgence, a form of self-care, a way to let your mind be full of someone else trials and tribulations.

Of course, the issue for me now is Book 2 (which has been written and currently going through several rounds of edits!). The plan is for it to be published early 2021 – will readers be disappointed if it’s not an ‘easy read’?

Only time will tell I guess, for now, I’ll focus on getting The Lie She Told launched!

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