Writing Challenge: day 56

“Reading Like a Writer” is the topic for today in the Armchair Genealogist‘s writing challenge Day 26. Just two days to finish. I’ve loved reading since the 5th grade when my teacher taught me to read for the enjoyment not so I could write a book report. Most of my reading in the last few years has been audio books that I listen to while I make dinner and do the dishes etc. Since starting this challenge I’ve noticed some of the tools authors use to tell their story that I’ve never noticed before. From reading the list below I see there are still more ways I can learn from my reading. Here are Lynn’s suggestions on how reading can help us to become better writers:

  1. Concentrate on reading books in your genre but don’t limit yourself. Read a wide range of books in a wide range of genres.
  2. Just like writing make reading a habit – a daily habit.
  3. Set a reading goal, I try to read 3 books a month.  I wish it could be more. Set a goal based on your own schedule. Join a book club; this is one of the best ways to make sure you’re reading on a regular basis and exposes you to a variety of books that others are choosing for you.
  4. Carry your reading with you; make the most of every opportunity to read.
  5. Read for enjoyment but also analyze character, plot and theme when reading.
  6. If a book resonates with you, read it a second time focusing on the more specifics of the story structure, the writer’s style and choices.
  7. Pay attention to the words, the preferences the writer makes and the organization and flow of those words.
  8. Don’t be afraid to take notes. It deepens your learning, gives you time to absorb what you’ve read and provides a resource for future reference.
  9. Write a review of a book you read, this provides you the opportunity to share some lessons you learned or explore some of the ideas it brought up for you.
  10. Read a wide range of writers from great writers, classic writers to current writers and unknown writers. There is a writing lesson in every book.
  11. Don’t waste time reading a book you don’t enjoy or understand. There are too many books in the world, put it down and move on to the next.
  12. Take cues from other writers.  Experiment with concepts you see other writers doing, then take it one step further and manipulate it and make it your own.
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