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Do you skim? : Conversation question • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Do you skim?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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atwhatcost
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Re: Do you skim?

Postby atwhatcost » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:33 am

Lynn

Working on my first novel.

Gooblink
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Re: Do you skim?

Postby Gooblink » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:57 am

I'm a skimmer, especially if I'm reading fiction.

Non-fiction books I tend to read more slowly.
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mammamaia
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Re: Do you skim?

Postby mammamaia » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:48 am

i do both... i read every word of all the parts that interest me and skim over boring filler, or overdone description... that said, i'd guess overall, i read an average of about 80-90%, skim the rest...
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Crono91
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Re: Do you skim?

Postby Crono91 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:25 pm

I read each and every single word. I do this because as a writer, I know that each word written has a purpose, and I don't want to miss it. Also, I like studying what I read, to see what they did right, and it's hard to do that without reading slowly and often times stopping on a section and re-reading it again.
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James A. Ritchie
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Re: Do you skim?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:04 pm

If I realize I'm skimming, I stop reading the novel. If a writer can't stop me from skimming, I look for another writer.

Much nonfiction is different. Types of nonfiction where only specific facts or figures are the point are made for skimming.

Gooblink
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Re: Do you skim?

Postby Gooblink » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:15 pm

The only fiction author I remember reading whose every word held me rapt was Joseph Conrad. Brilliance.

That's not to say I haven't read plenty of great books and enjoyed immensely the process of skimming. :)

I wonder, though, if I'm misspeaking by using the word 'skimming.' My method is more like speed reading...I don't skip parts of a book, I just read very fast.
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Fictional Cowboy
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Re: Do you skim?

Postby Fictional Cowboy » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:26 pm

In fiction, I rarely skim. I read every word on every page. If I'm skimming, it's usually because of a scene where the author is going on for several paragraphs about something and it's slowing down the pace so much that it takes me out of the story. It's usually descriptions about scenery or trying to cram in too much backstory. (Show, don't tell.) I once read a novel where the protagonist had to drive five miles along a lonely road in his jeep. It went on for pages. I felt like I was along for the entire five mile ride. I remember getting angry about it because it added nothing to the story. It wasted my time. I stopped reading the book. If I remember correctly, that was Frank Peretti's book, This Present Darkness.

Truth be told, and I'm sure to get flamed for this, I couldn't read The Lord of the Rings trilogy if my life depended on it. (Thank God for the movies.) I went wild over The Hobbit, but trying to read The Lord of the Rings was agonizing. The descriptions and the fight scenes went on for pages and pages and pages. To this day, I still can't read them.

In non-fiction, it depends on what I'm reading about. I love biographies and usually read all of it. If it's about a topic, or an event, it's usually because I'm doing research, so I'll constantly skim to find the bits that interest me. When it comes to Christian non-fiction, rarely do I skim because it's my favorite subject.

Photography? I don't look at pictures the way your instructor described at all. My eyes go right to the focal point and then I expand outward and notice everything around it. A bit like the opening scene in an old movie where the screen is black, and then a dot appears in the middle, opening slowly to reveal the picture.
~ Cowboy

If you're so inclined, feel free to correct my punctuation. I'm relearning.

DISCLAIMER: My posts are always my opinions, my thoughts and information based on my research. There are exceptions, and no one right way, to do everything.

SKiranS
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Re: Do you skim?

Postby SKiranS » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:51 pm

I don't skim those books like Harry Potter, where attention to detail is important. But I majorly skimmed Fifty Shades of Grey because it was repetitive and I found it too boring.

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Re: Do you skim?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:37 pm


James A. Ritchie
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Re: Do you skim?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:38 pm


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