Guest Blog: Reading to write by Tiffany Christina Lewis

Please check out this wonderful blog by my friend, an amazing author and guest blogger Tiffany Christina Lewis!

Authors often say that reading is one of the most important things for a writer. I 100% agree with this. If you are not reading, you are not learning about writing.

Why is reading so valuable to writers:
• You notice errors that you can avoid: If you’re someone who learns from others mistakes, this is a great place for you to learn by being critical.
• You notice good things that you can incorporate into your own writing: same as above, but being inspired by a GREAT story can lead to improvement in your own writing.
• You can beat writers block by reading: For me, a good story always motivates me to work on my own. Getting lost in the world of another text makes me long for my own.
• You can increase your vocabulary: If you are like me, you have a dictionary on you at all times. An app on your phone, perhaps? Might I suggest Merriam-Webster? Learning new words, or discovering that you are using words WRONG is hard to do if you’re not reading…

Tips for reading to write:
• Read books about writing: My favorite is Stephen Kings On Writing. It is a memoir of his life (briefly) and tons of great details on how to write. He references another book called The Elements of Style. Although I have not read that yet, I would recommend it, as would thousands of authors.
• Read books in your chosen genre: reading in your genre is a great way to learn more about your craft directly. You can see what sells in your genre, how your subgenre flows and fits in to the market and what things you can do differently to stand out.
• Read books OUTSIDE of your chosen genre: Don’t be closed minded. Reading books outside of your written genre will open you up to amazing techniques, twists, and just plain old good times. If you can watch the movie, you can read the book.

Additionally, make sure you read about topics that effect the world in your story. For instance, I write crime fiction and a friend of mine knows this. She loaned me a book called the Anatomy of Evil by Michael Stone which outlines a scale for assessing evil and defined some commonly understood psychological terms related to criminals (such as psychopath, or sociopath – there is a difference). Although this book was very academic (non-fiction), it gave me some wicked ideas…

What if you hate reading?

I can’t believe an author could be saying that, but if for some reason you don’t like to read or “can’t find time to read”, you can always use audiobooks! Audible, YouTube, Podcast apps and many other media outlets offer audiobooks. Whatever you have to do, get those words in your head! You’ll be glad you did!

Find more of work by Tiffany Christina Lewis at http://herscribbledthoughts.wordpress.com/
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