R is for Read, read, read.
I’m a s-l-o-w learner.
The biggest advice to improving writing is two-fold. Write, write, write. And read, read, read. I saw it all the time.
I knew that. But I didn’t get it. Not really. I mean why did I have to read so much? I was a writer. I should be writing. And when I did read, I couldn’t shut off my writer’s brain. Or I’d read all the books in my library that I was interested in. I couldn’t afford to buy new releases. That was before I started blogging and didn’t even know what the new releases were!
I have a new motto. Read, read, read and read some more.
- I get books on interlibrary loan.
- I put in requests for my library to purchase books – I just need patience.
- I ask for Amazon and Borders gift cards for my birthday and Christmas.
- I enter online contests for book giveaways – when I’m not required to do ten millions things just to enter it.
- I look on the Amazon market place and find year-old releases sometimes for under 2 dollars plus the 4 dollars shipping.
- I pay attention to e-book promotional freebies.
- I kept track of my exercise for a year and my insurance company rewarded me 300 dollars.
- If nothing else, I read the first chapter on Amazon or the Kindle samples.
- I read for fun but I also read to learn.
Why a writer should read, read, read, and read some more:
- Support other writers/authors.
- See what’s already been done.
- Get a feel for what’s being published.
- Distinguish the different styles that go with different genres.
- Learn the genres.
- Study character, plot, openings, midpoints, endings, sentence structure, internal monologues, transitions, cliffhangers, dialogue, romantic tension, description. And the list is endless.
- The more I read, the more it transfers over to my writing. In a good way.
- Figure out if I’m more of a commercial or literary writer and study those books.
- Compare your writing to your favorite books and see what you can learn!
- And because at some point, we decided to write because we love a good story.
If you’re not reading in and out of your genre, maybe you should? What do you think?