Reading is Good for Writing

Apparently, reading is good research for writing.  Who knew?  Well, a bunch of people, I guess.  Anyway, I love to read and should probably do more of it.  Reading good stuff – and bad stuff, for that matter – is inspirational for my writing.  I remember having a conversation with a friend about the Harry Potter series.  She wondered why I found it so compelling (for those of you unaware, I am a complete Harry Potter fanatic).  I went on for a while about the depth of the story – clearly, Ms. Rowling has reams of notebooks full of information and ideas about the whole wizarding world and its population.  I chatted about the timeless, human themes – good vs. evil, the heroic journey, love and romance, mythic beasts and metaphor.  The last thing I said was that I loved the series because I wanted to be able to write like J.K. Rowling.  That was the one thing that my friend didn’t get – that wasn’t something she thought about when she read books.  I was surprised.  I thought everyone read books because they wanted to write books.  Apparently not.

So, now that I’ve got a really good (well, I think it’s really good) idea for a novel I’m reading for research.  Not just non-fiction and archival sources – part of the story is set in the 1930s.  I’ve started reading mystery novels published in the 1920s and 1930s to get a feel for the literature and language of the period.  Reading is very good for writing!



One thought on “Reading is Good for Writing

  1. Yes, reading is excellent for prospective writers. It's good to see how others build their worlds and what works in terms of plot and pacing, etc. I can't wait for you to get going on your writing. So exciting!

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