Simple Ideas to Remember
The more a writer reads, the greater his or her chances are for improved writing.
That statement seems to be universally accepted. Suppose, for just a moment, that the writer is distracted by the reading material. What if the material is outside the comfort zone and knowledge base of the writer? How, then, does that reading increase the chances of improved writing?
If you are a writer, these questions are probably non-existent for you. Instead, you operate under the assumption that the more you read, the better your writing will become.
There are things that we glean from all reading. The way that one author approaches point of view shifts may offer good suggestions for your next work. How an author trims descriptive language to maintain a pace that satisfies you as a reader, or annoys you as a reader, can inform decisions for your own story. The number of techniques readers can study while reading anything is exhaustive. So, yes, reading improves writing, but we must be open to the possibilities.
Use Reading to Focus Writing
When reading a novel for pleasure, authors can decide to focus on one or two features of the writing. Perhaps the treatment of description is pertinent to a current work in progress. While reading for fun, an author can focus on adverbs, syntax of descriptive passages, and even the vocabulary used by other authors. It isn’t necessary to take notes or to highlight the work. It is necessary to simply be aware of another writer’s techniques.
If you are a writer who likes to experiment with different settings, be sensitized to how other authors describe setting. It could be as simple as a country road or as complicated as an unknown city that catches your attention. Again, look for language and quantity of description. Determine what works and does not work about the writer’s approach for you as the reader. If you cannot connect with a technique, it is likely you won’t want to take the same approach.
Writers always have ideas in development or drafts in memory, and there is usually a challenge associated with each. Each time a writer engages in a new book, it is highly likely that those challenges are in the forefront. The question of how other authors tackle the same problems is inevitable. Using reading to find ah-ha moments is satisfying.
Find Creativity through Reading
Fiction offers much room for creative license, but that is not to say that fiction offers much room for poor technique. Reading feeds that creativity, opening ideas and possibilities for the next project.
In developing a story, the details must be attended to and they must make sense. Using creative techniques, storylines, and unusual characters can offer intrigue for the audience.
Writers read to find expertise that can inform their own work. We can’t ever be fooled into thinking that writers read without that stance.
READ, READ, READ with a purpose!