Because it's been such a long week, what with my 9-to-whenever real job, editing my novel, beginning a new exercise routine, and planning the shindig for a friend's 50th birthday, tonight I decided to treat myself and just read. I enjoy murder mysteries, and this one is excellent, which to me means that the author is a good writer and that I don't figure out the mystery half-way through. But damn, with all the editing I've been doing, focusing on each and every word in my novel and how it affects the sentence/paragraph, I can't just sit and read anymore. I edit.
In the novel I'm reading, the detective says, "Drugs do very strange things to people." And I stopped, literally was pulled out of the story by the word "very". My first thought was that it wasn't needed, that the sentence can stand on its own without that modifier. "Drugs do strange things to people." And damn it, I lost the thread of the scene.
This isn't new, just magnified a hundred times. It started with POV-shifts and adverbs when I was taking writing classes. When I learned the rules of writing, I started noticing when authors would break those rules. But now, it's gotten to the point that I can't just read anymore, I critique.
With that said, I'm going to turn off my laptop, try to still (or maybe kill off, at least for the evening) the editor in my brain, and just read. Hopefully Detective Banks will catch the killer before I get into a struggle with my internal editor and give up reading for the night.