The Book Addict).
I began reading in first grade. As soon words formed sentences and made sense to me, I was hooked on reading. I remember the first time I 'understood' what reading was all about. I was in the car, running errands with my parents. All the street signs, billboards and store names came into crystal clear focus. They were telling me something! Talking to me. I'm sure I drove my family crazy as I read everything that came into my view out loud.
A reader was born.
I have heard several authors and writer advise us unpublished newbies to READREADREAD. Pick up a book you love and disect it. What do you love about it? The characters? What about the descriptions, settings, writing? I have marked many books that a sentence or idea have jumped off the page and startled me into reading it again. I've closed the book over the words "The End" only to be unsatisfied with my retention of the amazing story that lay within the covers. I needed to read it again. Then I ask myself, "how can I make my writing better?" Or "I want to write like this!!"
I have also heard several published authors say they don't read. They claim they don't want to mess up a good thing (meaning their writing flow, I guess). To these authors, whose books I have read, I want to say, "maybe that's why all your stories sound the same." Because they do. Same style. Same trouble. Same characters.
I attended a writers conference with Julie Daines (who is a very talented, and soon to be published, writer). She showed me her marked up copy of A THOUSAND DAYS by Shannon Hale. She said this book helped her a ton in her writing. She got the chance to kneel before Shannon and tell her how much her writing helped. Julie showed Shannon the book. Shannon was touched. I was impressed.
I want to write like that! Until then, I will read and read and then read some more.
We must read to renew ourselves and our writing.
Renew. Restore. Rejuvenate.
Go read a good book right now then come back and tell us all about it!