Friday, June 25, 2010

Digression: Why I Don't Read Ahead

I don't know if it's always clear from my posts, but I'm not just commenting on Varney the Vampire one chapter at a time -- I'm reading it one chapter at a time. Usually my posts start out as a running commentary as I'm reading the chapter from my print edition, after which I edit it and add quotes from an online version.

This sometimes puts me at a disadvantage because I don't know how the story is going to turn out (except for the oft-spoiled ending). I'm sure I've made myself look silly more than once by complaining about a plot point or apparent plot hole that got resolved in the next chapter or two.

I write this way because I wanted to experience Varney as the original readers would have -- taking each chapter as a separate episode of a story, rather than judging Varney as a traditional novel. It makes a fun concept for a blog, sure, but really it's for me. I wanted to read Varney badly, but couldn't push myself past the first few chapters. Writing commentary on each chapter gives me motivation to push forward.

Do ignore the four-month gap in my blogging.

I think I started out a bit more consciously over-the-top than I have been lately, with more flippant plot recaps and fewer block quotes. More and more lately, I'm not particularly trying to be funny or sarcastic or deep or anything. I'm just reacting chapter by chapter, and since the quality and content shifts around so much, my reactions are constantly changing.

I guess all I'm trying to say here is that I'm having fun. I'm not certain that my recaps and rants make a whole lot of sense to people not familiar with the story and characters, and maybe I should consider that more. But at this point, I'm just happy to exercise my nitpicky brain for a little while each day.

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