Whatever is a writer to do when she hasn’t had time to read other books?
Reading is an integral part of writing, don’t you think? I mean, seeing how others approach problems and plots makes me think harder about how I approach them in my own pieces. Their systems of magic or worship or war or love make me reconsider mine. Not that I – or anyone – plagiarizes, mind you. But can we be challenged by and informed by other writers’ ideas?
I hope so.
I know I have been. And I would probably call any writer who said they were not, a total liar. Utter and total and complete.
Right now, I’ve got a Reading List a mile long; ones I have already procured and just need to find time to read, others I have not gotten my hands on yet.
There’s one that is so frequently recommended to me that I cannot help but want to read it – “On Writing” by Stephen King. Also, “Elsewhens” by Melanie Rawn, the one writer I want to be like when I grow up. “The Kick-Ass Writer” by Chuck Wendig. “Hild: A Novel” by Nicola Griffiths. “Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened” by Allie Brosh. “Fermented: A Four Season Approach to Paleo Probiotic Foods” by Jill Ciciarelli. “How I Came to Sparkle Again” by Kaya McClaren. “Plot & Structure” by James Scott Bell. A whole slew of others. Some on wordcraft, others on more mainstream subjects.
Now, I see there are not a lot of fantasy novels on that list.
And I want to read more fantasy novels, in fact I have a whole separate list of those authors I hear so much about but have never actually (personally) read, ranging from Sanderson to Mieville to Brooks to Jordan.
But time is short and I admit, lately, I’ve spent more time playing video games and speculating on roleplay characters than actually reading. To rectify that I’ve started spending part of my work night with a book in hand, rather than stuggling to write.
I feel the difference already! In just a few weeks of reading more, I have found myself writing more – and doing it at random and/or inopportune times. Which is AWESOME!
It feels like I am writing – for realsies – again.
And I love that. So onward, writer! Read more!
Note: Image is “Old Books 2” by (nkzs) from SXC.hu