January 20, 2010

Why Reading is Important for Writers

Thursday's post is a little early this week.

Hundreds of successful authors have told us that reading is the most important thing a writer can do. Stephen King has some pretty great quotes. This is video one of my favorites.

I read on and off, in spurts and right now I'm on a hot streak. I'm on my fourth book this year, which is pretty amazing for a slow reader like me. But I came across something in this latest book that really struck me.

I won't mention which book it is, but basically, the character goes through a change in her life. Simple right? But the delivery of it, or her specific circumstances pricked at something in my brain. Something that would make my book richer.

I don't plan on ripping off the book, it's a pretty simple concept. It just made me realize that my main character isn't really struggling with anything new at the beginning of my book. I saw something similar when I read Twilight. Bella moves to a new place, so it only seems natural that she should notice details about her surroundings. It's natural to describe things. But if you start in the middle of a character's normal life, why should the character describe something that she sees every day?

Yes, it's miniscule (and I'm having a hard time describing exactly why this made such a difference for me), but trust me, reading just made my book better.

Speaking of reading, I found a contest that is giving away the entire Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, which has been on my wishlist for some time. Just thought I'd mention it... ;)

1 comment:

Patti said...

I definitely learn from other books. Right now I'm paying attention to dialogue tags and how other people do it.

I go through spurts where all I do is read. I get pretty obsessive about it and don't do much of anything else, so I can't read everyday.

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