Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Get To Know Your Favorite Authors

If you have been hanging out here with me for a while, you know how much I stress the need to do your research. This means to make sure you get to know the publishers and agents and learn all of their unique traits. As a part of this research too, it is also important to make sure to research your favorite authors.

We all know that many of the strongest writers out there read extensively. Sure they read for fun, but they also read for research. In other words, the more they read, the more they begin to identify what makes their favorite authors tick. For beginning writers, this is even more important.

When you read, make sure to have the critical thinking portion of your brain on a slow simmer. Sure, feel free to read for pleasure, but also pay attention. Don't just focus on the plot and the characters, pay attention to the techniques the writers are utilizing to tell that great story.

I do understand that many times you will find authors doing things with their writing that "violate all of those rules" but in those cases, there was likely a reason for it. Think of Hemingway. He understood grammar well, but to get across certain ideas, he would frequently violate those rules.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying to do whatever you want to do with your writing. What I am simply saying is to pay attention. Learn those tricks and then find a way to integrate those ideas naturally into your stories.


1 comment:

  1. I agree, but I would take it a little further. I think you should read in the genre of the novel you are writing. I think it's impossible to write a fantasy novel unless you read fantasy. Same goes for any other genre.

    In Stephen King's book, On Writing, he said the best way to improve your writing is to read and write everyday. He said reading will naturally improve your technique and storytelling.