Jan 31, 2011

Read Like a Writer

Being a writer, I’m assuming you love books, I know I do. And reading is one of the easiest and most important tools you can use to improve your own writing.

To use this tool: go farther than just reading a book merely for the story. (But by all means, still enjoy the story!)
  • Explore the techniques the author uses to keep the reader in the captivated until the end.
  • Evaluate the plot as it twists and turns on its own unique roller coaster.
  • Figure out what makes you attracted to a particular character and repelled by another.
  • Notice specific scenes that whisk you away into the character’s world, and the language the author uses to create that feeling.
  • Think about what you would have done differently if you were the one writing.
  • Decide what you loved and what you loathed about the plot, point of view, characters, setting… 
By imagining yourself writing the piece, you will begin to see the techniques being used that you recognize and could potentially use in your own writing. You can use the techniques you adore to enhance your writing, and by noticing the ones you despise, you can teach yourself to avoid them.

Get out there and read everything, notice things commonly overlooked and listen to how the piece functions. It’s an activity you’ll only benefit from and one you’re sure to enjoy.

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