Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Writers Should Be True Readers

Winter days often keep us indoors so what better time to increase your reading time? You might be able to whittle down that stack of books you've not had time to read. Curl up on the sofa by the fire and open to the first chapter. Before you know it, you'll feel like you're in the hammock in the poster above with gentle Gulf breezes skipping by. Well, maybe.

Do you keep a list of books you'd like to read? Do you have a stack of books waiting to be read? Do you go to the library and have a difficult time selecting only three off the shelves to bring home? Do you read book reviews and mentally check off the books that appeal to you? If you can answer yes to any or all these questions, you're a True Reader. 

I've always been a True Reader--ever since I learned to read in first grade with the help of Dick and Jane, Baby Sally, and their pets, Spot and Puff. They became my friends and I could hardly wait to get to school to see what adventures they would have in the next chapter of the reader. 

I think being a True Reader is essential for those who want to write. If you've read voraciously through the years, consider all the techniques, the plot how-to's and sensory details now stored in your subconscious. You pull from that treasure trove when you write your own stories. Not copycat stories but your own. You use various little things that you might have admired when reading the novel of a popular author. While reading for pleasure, you're also learning.

Take advantage of these winter days--even those of you who live in the South have much cooler weather than the rest of the year. Spend more time reading now than you do during those other months.

I finished a book toniight that left me very disappointed at the end. I really don't like books that leave me hanging but this is a series so it would definitely make me want to read the next book. Trouble is that I'd not read any of the earlier ones, just delved into this as it was one my Book Club is reading. The author gives enough background in this story to help the reader catch on pretty quickly. 

I much prefer endings that tie things up in a tidy litle package. Some people would rather have one of those endings that leave the reader with mouth open or saying What? Trouble with endings is that you must read the entire book to get to them! I have to admit that it was a good read right to the end but then....! 

Keep in mind that all writers should be True Readers. I find that, as a writer, I do read with a more critical eye than I did prior to my own writing years. 

On the next snowy or bitterly cold day, I hope you have a good book, a cup of hot coffee, tea or chocolate and an afghan to toss over your legs while you read.The housework willl wait. You and I both know that it is never going to go away!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear your most recent book left you disappointed. That's irksome! You are absolutely right that as a writer, you've got to be a reader.