On reading to make a better writer

When I became serious about writing a few years ago, I would read a book maybe once or twice a year. Last year alone, I devoured about fifty novels and novellas, read over a hundred short  stories and poems, countless posts and newsletters. I have become consumed with reading. To the point I watch very little TV and hide from social contact at times.

Why this change? Because, as any author worth their salt will tell you, to be a better writer, you have to read! Especially in the genre you write in. I read mainly horror, but also some sci-fi and fantasy, especially if it crosses into the horror realm.

By doing this, I feel, my writing has grown. I read things I’ve written in the past and see how much has changed. Not only in the way I construct sentences and grammar, but also in the way I develop plot and structure.

You may be thinking, how does one keep a book in their hands constantly? You have to complete chores, right? A simple answer is, be creative. With technology today, it’s so easy to stream audiobooks and download ebooks, that listening or reading is always a click away. The cool thing is, with a library card, much if it is free. Now for the latest titles you may have to pay for a service like Audible. But if you are wanting to get started in the world of audiobooks, your local library is where is the place.

I now read while I’m walking, driving, sitting in the toilet, just before bed, and so on. Obviously, as a writer, this is beneficial to building my career, but I do enjoy it also.

My next post will focus more on the creative energy behind writing and drawing.

Published by edmundstone69

My name is Edmund Stone and I am a horror/fiction writer. I write in a small rural community on the banks of the Ohio River. I take inspiration from this place full of macabre characters and strange landscapes that most people would only dream of. I'm married to a wife that supports my crazy whims, along with three dogs, a slew of cats and a son who appears periodically from his bedroom to say, "Hi".

2 thoughts on “On reading to make a better writer

  1. True words! I think we should make sure to read – just a little – in our non-genres as well. Pick up a Harlequin (I did for the first time this week and am surprised by it) or grab a cosy mystery (or a gritty one). Absorbing your genre is vital but for me, there are lessons to be learned from all kinds of writing, even the ones that make you wince.

    I have a kind of caveat to this which is a little controversial, at least in a writing community: choose traditionally published authors first. *While learning*, you want to be learning from authors whose work has been edited and formatted and road-tested professionally. It’s not a perfect system, but it means you’re exposed to writing which as at least met some standard.

    There. I said it, don’t hurt me.

    Nice clean website by the way.

    1. Thank you. I like the cleaness of it too. I agree. I probably read mostly traditionally published writers. I do feel like the stuff you read will guide the type of writing you do.

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