Monday, February 7, 2011

You've Got To Look For What You Like

Once upon a time, I sat in a Bio Lab where the prof assigned us a pair of articles and asked for our critiques. After a while, she explained that part of the point was for us to get used to looking at reports objectively, since we'd have to write them later. Then she said, "When you read things, you get a sense of what you like to see. Then you can do that."

That's when I had one of those *ding* moments. Like a little light bulb over my head.

It was like rehearing all of those things that writing sites and books always say all over again:
  • Write what you'd like to read.
  • Study published books. See how they're put together and learn from it.
  • Remember what made you like reading that book, and try to absorb that awesome.
I've been remiss in the reading department lately. Bad on me. Books are an essential for a writer. I do solemnly swear to make time for reading.

What have you been reading lately? What books have taught you about writing?


  1. The Harry Potter books definitely taught me a thing or two about world-building!

    I didn't read anything last week but I've read like 17 books since January started....

  2. I'm in the middle of reading City of Bones and Radiant Shadows. (I keep one book at my place and one at the bf's house).

    So many books have taught me so much about writing. I think there's something to learn from every book--even the bad ones.

  3. I too have been lax in my reading habits lately. I have a couple of books on the shelf all ready to dive into. You're right though, gotta dust them off! :)

  4. good advice! Have you read "Reading like a writer" by Francine Prose? That's a good book to 'get into the mindset'.

    I'm reading Riordan's The Lost Hero (a YA fantasy) right now, and liking it better than the last book he brought out (The Red Pyramid). MUCH better.

  5. I always hear that same advice too. It's hard to maintain a reading lifestyle nowadays though, isn't it? There are so many distractions, and it's hard to find the time to work, live, read and write all in one day.
    I wish that I could just pull a Thoreau and go live in the woods for a while and get some reading done.

  6. I was slacking off in the reading department too, but it's one of my goals for this year. So far, so good. I've set aside time every day to read.

  7. Melissa -- That's an impressive book total. Kudos.

    KAH -- I think most books have educational merit in terms of writing style. The question is if it's a new lesson.

    DL -- Ah the TBR pile. A familiar friend.

    Tessa -- I haven't read that book, but I'll have to look into it.

    Hanny -- Yes, it's hard to maintain a reading lifestyle,but I definitely think it's worth trying.

    Susan -- That's a good idea. I should probably schedule in my reading time.