Best Writing Advice: Read More
Many people ask what they can do to become a better writer. The best writing advice I can give you is to read more books.
Why Is Reading Important?
Reading is important for many reasons, including the fact that reading is good for your brain. But reading is particularly important for writers because it helps hone the writing craft. Reading is like studying for writers—the more you study and the more you practice, the better you'll get at writing.
Reading published books can give you an idea of what people like. This will also give you an idea of the industry standards for your genre. I see way too many writers of YA fiction who do not read YA fiction; if you never read the genre, how do you know what makes it successful? You need to be familiar with your audience, and the best way to do this is to read what they read. If you write for a specific age group or in a specific genre, make sure you are familiar with books in that category. For example, if you write horror, it's a good idea to read Stephen King's books and see how he creates fear and suspense.
These are some things you can take note of as you read to improve your own writing:
Description of action and setting
Creation of tension
This is not to say that every published author is an expert at writing, but you can take note of what authors do well or poorly and use that when you write your own stories.
Eventually, when you read on a regular basis, many aspects of good storytelling become instinctual. You become familiar with what you like and don't like in a story, and it becomes easy to think of techniques for creating suspense or breaking your reader's heart.
This is why the best writing advice I can give you is to read and keep reading.
In the spirit of supporting reading, I am going to start publishing book reviews and other bookish posts. If you would like to discuss books with me, send me an email!
What are your favourite books?