by Cassie Shiels
To be good writers it is helpful to be good readers. Read books in your genre, read other peoples manuscripts, become a beta reader, read books in genres you are interested in but nervous to write, any of these will help you become a better writer. Reading helps us see how stories are put together, how they flow, how transitions are done, how characters interact in the written word, etc. And its just fun!
But don't just read, OBSERVE! Take time to look at the word choice for age groups (especially for children's books). Observe how much time passes in these books, how the author built up the tension (or didn't), how the author kept it a page turner (or didn't) etc.
If you want sit and write down why you love your favorite books, what pulls you into them? What keep you up late reading at night? What element draws you in the most? What makes you put the book down?
After your observations, make a list of things you want to make sure you are writing in your own books. You could even write a list of things to make sure you don't include in your own books.
I know I always struggle with the limited time I have to write and read as a busy mother. The argument of what is more important is always there, but both are important. I might not read everyday (other then books to my kids) and I might not write everyday, but could I do one or the other every day,? Even if it was only for a few minutes? Could I say, I am too tired to sit down and write tonight and pull out a book for ten minutes or so instead? I bet I could, and then I would be helping my writing skills either way.
Reading is awesome, and if we didn't think so I doubt we would be writers.
Happy reading and writing!