Thursday, September 13, 2012

Confessions of a Kitchen Table Writer


By PHS editor Jeannie Watt


I am a kitchen table writer. There is an area in my home that I could make into an office—a nice quiet room, with a door I could shut and a desk I could write at—but I prefer to write at my kitchen table, thus my monthly PHS column, Confessions of a Kitchen Table Writer. 

September Confession: I sometimes read the end of the book before I get there.

Okay, I don't always read the end first. In fact, it's a relatively rare occasion, but sometimes I just can't help myself.  Here are the circumstances where I read the end of the book first:

1) Animal stories--I'm sorry, but I am not going to fall in love with a dog only to have him die at the end. Will. Not. Do. It. That has happened to me too many times in real life. Therefore, if an animal is involved, I check the end to see if there's a burial or special memories or a puppy that looks just like the dad. Yes, I'm missing out on some poignant stories, but I was too scarred by Where the Red Fern Grows and hearing about Old Yeller (thank goodness someone clued me in about that rabies thing so I didn't actually read the story or watch the movie), to risk it again. If the animal lives, I read the book.

2) There are two potential heroes and I don't know which one to root for. Bad, I know, but I just want a hint as to whose corner I should be in, so I'll quickly flip through the last pages and try to see names. I don't want to know how the hero becomes the hero--I just want to know whose side to be on.

3) The writer is so spectacular at making me believe that this is the one romance novel where the hero and heroine will not get together that I have to take a quick peek to make sure that they're snuggling at the end. Again, I don't want to know the how--I'll savor that--I just need to be reassured that hey, it'll be all right. 

And you know what? The biggest confession of all is that I've never regretted peeking.

How about you? Do you ever read the end first or just peak a little? I'd love to know if I have company.

Harlequin Superromance author Jeannie Watt lives in rural Nevada and writes fast-paced, character driven stories set in the western United States.   Her next book, Crossing Nevada, comes out in December 2012. (Please do not read the end first.) 

To find out more about Jeannie and her books, please visit her website. 

9 comments:

  1. Yes Jeannie I do sometimes take a peek at the end of a book before finishing it for the same reason #3 as you.

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    1. Yay, Ellen! Isn't it amazing just how good some writers are at creating that suspense? Thank goodness.

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  2. I almost never read the end, but I do read a couple of dialogues in the middle before deciding if I want to read that particular book.

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    1. I do that a lot, too, Natalija. Kind of gives me a feel for the book.

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  3. I confess I read the end of the book when I am NOT enjoying it - to see where it is heading and whether that makes me feel like reading it after all. Sometimes it does and the journey through more than makes up for the ending-knowledge. Often, sadly, I then skip-read through and don't feel sorry at all.

    The only time I regret reading the end is when I did so far too soon into the book and it spoils the whole thing.

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    1. That's an interesting strategy, Shirley. It makes sense, too, rather than just putting the book aside.

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  4. I'm an end reader. I don't do it all the time but often enough that my husband has made comments about it. Doesn't stop me from reading the book though and I never ever do it on mysteries or suspense.

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  5. I don't do it on mystery either, Kaelee, although sometimes I really want to. Sounds like we're very similar in that regard.

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  6. Me too! I like to read the last line.

    MarcieR

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