Zabowska's Blog

November 12, 2009

Writers must read a lot

Filed under: Uncategorized — zabowska @ 7:45 pm

   Writers must read many, many examples of what they’re trying to write. Some
experts say that writers must read at least 100 books in the genre that they are

  For instance, say you want to write a picture book for kids. Experts suggest
that you read at least 100 picture books so that you could a hang of how the
book is organized, worded, how the illustrations work in sync with the text and
so on.

  Writers should surround themselves with books. A hundred well-chosen
books act as your base camp, your buffer, your personalized M.F.A. writing
program. Use the library, interlibrary loan, and books on tape. Notice what you
like and what you love. Writers learn more from reading than from all the how
to plot books in the world.

  Read like a writer, sitting up, not in bed. Use a pen, note cards, and stickies.
The purpose of reading these books is to troll on technique. Notice the plot. You
should ask yourself the following questions:

1.  Why did the author start the second chapter at this point?
2.  How does the author end his chapters?
3.  Why is this material introduced in chapter 1?
4.  Why does the author the book in this way?

In other words, read the books actively. You aren’t so much reading for
pleasure as you are reading as a detective.

  One of the purposes of reading so many books in one genre is that as you
read about seventy five books or so you will become an expert in the particular
genre. You will be informed about that particular genre. Knowing your field will
give you the platform you need to write your own books.

  Therefore, writers should read as much as they can in the genre that they
plan to write. This will help them write good books in their genre and to
ultimately get them published.


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