Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Writers are also Readers… Right?

Hi everyone –

Recently, deep in the heart of our Blog Castle, seated around the gargantuan library, the writers of the Castles & Guns blog discussed the focus of the blog. Were we blogging for writers or readers?
(Nice castle huh? :) It's actually my picture from my son's choir trip last year. It's Mont St. Michel in France. You should go someday! Super cool! Okay back to the story... )


One of our wise leaders (aka Sarah) stood and declared that we should be appealing to both camps, and besides, writers also read…

This led me back to a recent conversation I had with a fellow writer while we walked through the darkened forest. (aka the well-lit track at the local high school) We were chatting about how important it is to make time to read even when you’re working on writing your own novel. Too often I’ve heard writers admit they no longer had time to read. *gasp*

In the immortal words of Stephen King -- 'If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.'

But why? What tools do you gain by reading?

I think it’s different for everyone.

I know that I try to read some things out of my genre just to keep my brain working in another direction, but mostly I read within my genre because I want to know what is happening within my writing community. What’s selling, and what’s not, is super important when you need to sell your book. You need to let the publisher know you understand how to market your work.

And on a creative level, I find that when I don’t make time to back away from the keyboard and read, that I start repeating myself in my writing. I don’t stretch and try something new, or I forget to bring out all the senses. When I’m reading, I notice techniques I really like and it encourages me to get creative with my own work. Maybe a reminder about dialog tags, or using emotion...

Sometimes you also find things in someone else’s book that doesn’t work for you as a reader and you can make a mental note not to let your writing wander down that path.

Reading let’s your imagination engage in a way that it can’t while you write, and if you cut off that escape I think it can really hamper your writing. Stephen King, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs and many other best-selling authors read daily. Most of them even have a section on their website or blog to post books they enjoyed.

So I’m curious… If you’re a writer reading this blog… Do you still make time to read even if it’s just an hour a day?

And if you’re a reader, do you find it interesting to see what your favorite authors are reading? (I love checking up on Charlaine Harris’ blog! I’ve found lots of great books there… http://charlaineharris.com/bb/bb_current.html )

Last thing… If you are reading, share your favorite recent reads! I love chatting up books! LOL

Thanks for stopping by!

Lisa :)

14 comments:

  1. HEAR HEAR!!! I don't want to say what I'm reading as they are PRISM candidates :)- but good so far!

    Yes, I do read each day, probably not for a full hour though :(.

    Great blog Lisa!

    Marie- stuck at work- Andreas

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    1. Hi Marie -

      I'm reading a few Prism books right now too, and I'm encouraged! They rock! :)

      Thanks for commenting... And reading! LOL

      Lisa :)

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  2. I am an avid reader of romance as well as a new author and my blog (http://reganromancereview.blogspot.com) is devoted to both. Many of those who follow my blog or my Facebook/Twitter are authors who read as much as I do. Recently I've been reading the classic historical romances for a list I have coming to my blog on April 7. One I just loved was DEVIL'S EMBRACE by Catherine Coulter. The hero is a true alpha male and the heroine is amazing. Her heart-stopping plot kept me awake and reading ALL night!

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    1. Hi Regan -

      I love your blog and I don't even write historicals! LOL You're so well-versed in your genre and I know a big part of that is because you're so well-read.

      Congratulations on your sale too Regan!!! YAY!!!

      Lisa :)

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  3. I am an avid reader who also likes to write short stories. I usually stick with my genre Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal stuff. Right now I am reading Kerrelyn Sparks Wanted: Undead or Alive. Since the April 21 meeting speaker for RWASD is going to discuss Eva Dallas in the J.D. Robb books I am going to start reading Naked In Death.

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    1. Hi Janet -

      I usually stick with paranormal or horror... Just read a great novella from Steve Alten called Meg Origins... I love his Megladon series... SOOO scary!!! :)

      I've never read JD Robb, but my Mom loves that series... I might have to give it a try someday!

      Thanks for commenting!

      Lisa :)

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  4. Hehe! Thanks! :-D I don't think I've ever been described as a wise leader before. You made my day. ;-) (And I totally agree with your post!)

    I just finished reading Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs this morning. Now I have to figure out what I'm going to read next.

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    1. Ha! Yay!!! I love making people's days! LOL

      Did you love Bone Crossed??? You should read the next one! I love the Mercy Thompson series... :) I haven't read River Marked though. I'm waiting for the ebook price to come down first! :)

      Have you read Patricia Briggs' Alpha & Omega series? It's really great too! :)

      Thanks for commenting and chatting up books Sarah! aka wise leader! LOL

      Lisa :)

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  5. Great Post Lisa! It is easy to forget that reading is what got me writing. After our journey through the forest, I decided that YES, I must read! My to-read list is incredibly huge as authors recommend more authors. I can't keep up, but if I have to drown, let it be under a pile of half naked men covers :)

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    1. Our walk around the track sounds much more exciting when it's a journey through the forest doesn't it? LOL

      And I think drowning under a pile of AB-tacular romance covers would be a great way to go! LOL

      Thanks for commenting!

      Lisa :)

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  6. I'm with Rachael--drowning under a pile of sexy ab book covers wouldn't be such a bad way to go...

    Lisa, I absolutely agree about taking the time to read, as a writer. You're right about it stretching my mind in new ways and improving my craft. I know someone who alternates between reading fiction and non-fiction. I think she's on to something. I get lots of fiction ideas when I read nonfiction.

    Right now, I'm reading a contemporary romance by Julie James called A LOT LIKE LOVE. it's really good.

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    1. Hi Melissa -

      I have been reading a little more non-fiction and biographies lately and I agree with you they do lead to fictional ideas! :)

      I'm still not a big contemporary reader, but I did recently discover Lisa Kleypas... I read Sugar Daddy and LOVED it!

      Thanks for commenting Melissa!

      Lisa :)

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  7. I agree a writer must read, it helps with techniques, but most of all it's important to fuel your imagination. Not to say you'll write what you read, but even your Muse needs to have fun and re-energize.

    I tend to read past works. Right now - Stephen King - The Stand. I've never read it for whatever reasons or seen the movie. It's been sitting on my shelf tempting me for sometime now. So far, it's a good read.

    Amanda Steven's The Kingdom is on its route to my house from Amazon. Can't wait to continue the journey of the Graveyard Queen.

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    1. Hi Cher -

      Oh I LOVE The Stand!!!! One of my all-time favorite books!!! It's super long though... How far are you into it?

      Thanks for commenting!!! I think you're right about needing to give our imaginations a little escape in fiction! :)

      Lisa

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