Aspire to be Inspired
Advice for New Authors, Including Myself
Guest Post by Author Prudence Bice
There is one question I am asked more than any other, either when I’m at a book signing, or talking to a book group. The question? “How do you become a better writer?” My answer is usually the same, “Read…read, and then read some more!” I’ve even given this advice in a few interviews on this same blog tour already, but today, I’d like to expand on that a bit further.
Let me say first that I love to read, probably more than I love to write. In all fairness, my love of reading came first. In fact, Amazon should offer me some stock in their company because I order so many books. Just yesterday I was thinking about my Christmas list and the UPS man popped into my head. Maybe I’ll buy him a book.
Lately I’ve been trying to expand my reading experience, to reach out and taste, per say, what other types of genres have to offer: science fiction, mystery, paranormal, and graphic novels, genres I don’t often read. Then there are the classics. As a writer of historical fiction, I’d be foolish to pass up the opportunity to view the world through such an accurate historical perspective. Classic writers, such as Jane Austin, Charlotte Bronte, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens, all of whom I love to read, were contemporary writers of their time. They wrote how they lived. Their characters not only reveal through dialog and thoughts how they spoke, but what their attitudes and emotions were. Their books seem to transport you to another time, another place. The experience is golden.
If you do not like to read classical literature, read what interest you. For an author, reading is what often fuels the creative process. It feeds our imaginations, increases our vocabulary, and expands our knowledge of things both past and present.
I came across a web article the other day written by a book examiner named Michelle Kerns. I loved her explanation on how an author’s mind works. I’d like to share it with you.
“Think of the author's mind like a pool of water. Every book read, every idea considered, every bit of dialogue overheard, goes into that pool. In fact, the only way a writer can hope to continually improve and grow is to put as much water in there as possible. (Consider Stephen King who said in his memoir, On Writing, "If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time (or tools) to write. Simple as that."). When an author starts working on a project, his or her fledgling ideas are nourished by the water, if you will, taken from that mental swirl of all the things read and considered before.”
I want lots of water in my pool and tools in my toolbox. Reading is one way to make that happen. So, “Happy Reading” to all you aspiring authors and readers and thanks for stopping by my blog tour.
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