Read Before You Write
So, you are thinking of writing that great novel…the intense short story…or, that inspirational poem…You have your setting, your subject, your time…Have you remembered to read other writing like yours? Reading stories, poems, and sentences like you wish to write brings you closer to the words and audience with which you are trying to connect. Visit your local book stores, check out Amazon.comvisit your local library, or dust off one of those old volumes on your shelves. Don’t just read the news paper or the catchy headline magazines. These items will just give you words not necessarily the right words for your characters or for your readers.
As I write my new novel, A Commons Tale – Smidgen of Belief, I have re-read timeless tales from Madeleine L’Engle,E.L. Konigsburg, and C. S. Lewis,while reviewing even more modern writers such as J. K. Rowlingand Gregory Maguire. Each one has brought new visions to a world that has only existed in my imagination. Each one has added complexities to a storyline that has evolved into a series of tales to be spread out over 4 books instead of just one. Each author shares a piece of their vision with you, the reader. Just remember that they also share their style, techniques, and secrets with you, the writer.
Each book on writing should coming with a warning “Do not try this on your own…” You don’t have to…many others have been there before you. Many others are there with you now. Read the writing of others before, during, and after you write. Why did you like those books? Why did you dislike those books? What characters made your brows furrow and your blood pressure shoot upward? Which characters helped your heart grow with joy and love? Which characters were just there? Think of the paths the author took to bring you there. Follow your guide. Bring your story along with you so that your muse may clear the cobwebs from the map which is being redrawn for your own tale…Write and enjoy…