“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” –George RR Martin
Great authors are also great readers and burying yourself in a good book is one of the simplest ways to become a better writer. While I like to refrain from reading competing genres while I’m working on a new title, books provide excellent inspiration for characters, motivations and storylines. Here are four tips for reading that will help you become a better writer.
Become a Better Writer: 4 Tips for Reading
- Pay Attention to the Characters
Begin the novel by paying close attention to the characters’ backstories and try to identify how their lives relate to the happenings in the book. Creating a world for characters to live in is a tough part of writing a novel and it can be helpful to see how other authors tackle this feat.
- Question Everything
Questioning the motives of the characters in a story can help you form more complex tensions and plot devices. This process gets you closer in touch with the author’s intentions when writing the book and may give you some inspiration when writing your own.
- Read Carefully
Pay attention to details when reading, no matter how minor. Doing so will help you with the editing and proofreading process of writing your book, since you’ll be trained to look for small inconsistencies and incorrect details.
- Re-Read Beginnings and Endings
When you’ve finished the book, go back and read the beginning again to see how the structure is laid out and if you can find any hints or tip-offs to the end of the story. As a writer, this can help you lay out your plot and give away just enough information to keep your readers interested.
Paying attention to the way other authors write characters, begin and end their novel and create plot devices can help you become a better writer. How often do you read? Do you find it makes your writing better?