It’s true. I can no longer just read to enjoy a story. It was in reading other stories that first helped me to create some of my own. When I read, I look to see what it takes other writers to create fully complex plot lines, fully fleshed out characters in their stories.
I read to understand how the writer sets up the story, connects the plot lines, builds the characters, and introduces backstory. I can see all sides of the story now that I’m a writer. I can appreciate the hard work the author did to create the story line. I learn new insight in how to draw readers into my own stories. I read between the plot lines to see if I can obtain a better understanding of how the author put the story together.
Being an avid reader, I can see the importance of small details in stories. However that being the case, I find the plot holes in storylines; find errors in logic that shoves me out of the fictitious dream as John Gardner says in The Art of Fiction.
Writers should be readers, because reading can open the mind, can offer an opportunity to learn something new. We learn about myths and traditions, other cultures and other worlds when we read. We get story ideas from reading journals or essays, other histories or other adventures.
All writers learn from other writers through the reading of their stories. I know I do. Reading a new novel or memoir, we can understand how a story flows, how it builds momentum, how it comes full circle. Writers should be readers—especially in the genre that they are writing. Read award-winners as well as popular writers and small presses and indie writers.
Should a writer read while creating her own story? I say we should always read, if only to give our minds a rest from our own story creations. All the luck with your own stories in 2017. Thanks for stopping by Adventures and leaving a note. It’s greatly appreciated.
This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s SupportGroup. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.
22 thoughts on “Insecure Writers want to know: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?”
I love your second and third paragraphs. It speaks to my heart because those are some of the reasons that I read. Yeah! John Gardner is one of my mentors that sits around my imaginary round table. I have read almost everything from him and about him. I love The Art of Fiction.
All the best.
Hi Victoria – one day I must attend a story writing conference – to understand more … but I'm not good at reading novels, or mysteries now … I prefer something more educational or academic – keeps me interested in various directions … cheers Hilary
Hello Pat and welcome to Adventures in Writing! Thank you for your kind words. John Gardner "sits around my round table" also, a very knowledgeable writer. I have quite a few of his books, too. All the best to you in 2017!
I, also, read a lot of educational material. Keeps me fresh in writing or learning something interesting. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Hilary. All the best to you!
Yes, I read while creating my own story. Because I'm always reading! But I sometimes try not to read something too similar to what I'm writing at the moment.
Reading does open the mind. For those who can't travel, it offers a whole world of possibility.
Agreed! I love the way you explain how you now read as a writer. You make it sound more beautiful and MORE enjoyable instead of the other way around. You appreciate the author's work more now because you understand the details. Christy
"Writers should be readers" I thoroughly agree with this statement. Writers should always make the time to also read.
Happy IWSG Day!
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit
That makes sense, Jennifer. We don't want to unconsciously include details that we think are original in OUR story that were in something we just read. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. All the best to you.
Doesn't it though, Alex. I love reading about adventures in places I haven't visited. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks again for creating IWSG.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Christy. It's true; I do learn much by reading others. Thanks so much for stopping by Adventures in Writing and leaving a note. All best to you.
Yes they should! Thanks, Lynda, for your note and for visiting Adventures in Writing. All the best to you!
Thanks, Juneta, for your kind words. They mean the world to me. And thank you for visiting Adventures in Writing. All the best to you.
I wish I would read more, but I get so distracted by other things that I don't read like I should and when I do read, I am a slow distracted reader with a wandering mind. However, when I do get into what I'm reading I tend to be a very forgiving and unobservant non-editorial reader. Mistakes and bad writing can slip past me if I see a sincerity in a writer's motivations as well as good content. I would probably not be a very good editor.
Tossing It Out
Hi, Lee! Thanks for stopping by Adventures in Writing and leaving a note. You are right. If the story doesn't grab me or isn't written well or I find logic that slips me out of the story, I am a VERY distracted reader. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing.
I love to read. It definitely takes me away from daily life and gives me a break from reality. I'm currently reading one of Erma Bombeck's stories. She is hilarious.
Yes she is, Michelle. She can take the mundane tasks of being a mother and find the humor. And boy, don't mothers need to laugh. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Hope all is well.
My first passion is to read…I like to escape in the make-believe worlds.
Hi, Nas! How are you, my dear? Reading is a passion of mine, too. I LOVE escaping into a good story. Always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Nas.
Hello Victoria, I think a writer should always keep reading, even when they're in the process of composing their own work. Sometimes when I'm feeling stuck or stressed, a good book can be a nice escape.
Books are always an escape for me, Cynthia. And I feel they are a great stress releaser for a writer. Thanks so much for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving a note. It is greatly appreciated.