I’m sure just about every writer has heard something akin to, “If you want to write, read a lot.” Why am I bringing this up? Because there actually is a lot of truth to that! Believe it or not, but reading books is an essential part of writing books.
Well, let’s take a look at that, shall we?
So, you’re stripped for ideas. You know you want to write, but you just can’t seem to get that spark that will ignite into an awesome burst of inspiration that your muse unleashes upon you. So, what do you do to get some inspiration?
Think of it this way. You just finished this amazing book about shape shifters. Even while you’re still reading, your mind starts molding the concept of the book you’re reading. It changes things, sprinkles in some things that will make it unique – will make it yours. That, my friends, is how you get inspiration. Read a book, any book, and it’s bound to spark some interest.
So, you have a wonderful idea and can’t wait to get started on it, because it will be perfect. Well, it pains me to say that probably won’t be the case.
Write a book without reading anything for a long time. Now, read a couple of pages of a book, then work on your novel. You’ll realize that you’ll snatch some of the style out of the book and inject it into yours. That’s fine. By reading and trying out new styles, we develop the style that will ultimately be ours – that will work for us.
A bit of guidance is the way to go, both when it comes to inspiration, and how exactly to write your book.
This ties into the earlier section. Point of view, not to mention the tense you write your story in. First person, second person, third person? Not to mention present or past tense? That’s six possibilities. Of course, you could mix multiple types, but let’s just stick to one to be on the safe side, shall we?
Reading books, particularly ones in your novel’s genre, will give you a feel for what other writers choose to do and will give you the chance to toy with the different types and figure out what will work for you, as a writer.
How do your characters act? How do people act? There are so many situations characters can be thrust into, so many emotions that overflow as a cause of those situations. You can look around you and see the emotions – but how do you describe them? Testing how others describe emotions, and build tension for characters, will aid you in the long run.
Just because Jane writes “Her face lit up like a summer day.”, doesn’t mean you have to write it like that. However, it gives you ideas and from there, you can move on and figure out how you will express emotions.
These are only four things that are important when it comes to writing, and that reading will help you with. There are other, smaller things, that are important, but you’re bound to come across them during your journey through many, many books.
Never stop reading. If you want to write, then support the authors around you! You’d be amazed how much their novels support you in return.
Do you read a lot, and do you have anything you’d like to add to this list? Let me know in the comments!