As authors, we can have our day scheduled right down to how many words we’ll write and when we’ll write them. We can have our plots set out and the perfect ending in mind. Yet, there is one thing that many authors forget to do and that is read other books.
Many of us don’t have time to just sit down and read another author’s book when the book we’re writing is burning through our thoughts. Or maybe we don’t have the time to spare to give to reading a book because we have full-time jobs and our writing time is very precious. And yet, reading other books is a crucial part of the writing process because it gives us an insight that we can learn from.
A great way to analyze the quality of our own book, our writing abilities and our marketing skills in relation to its potential success, is to see what makes other bestselling authors or well-known authors the best sellers and distinguished name that they are.
What is it about their book that is bringing in the readers? What is their writing style? What words do they use to describe things and what dialogue do they input to make it realistic? What do they write about that peaks everyone’s interest?
What we need to do is get some books that are common with the type of book that we’re writing and read it both for entertainment and for a lesson in writing. We need to analyze what we read so that we can understand what makes their book so good, and then we can use the things we’ve learned and put them in our book.
And by that, I don’t mean copy their work. We can look at the dialogue, for example, and see if it’s perhaps more naturally flowing than ours and then inject that natural lingo into our own story. Or we can see how they describe things that are happening so we can stop writing pages of boring descriptions and condense it effectively into a paragraph or two.
We can compare our book with the bestselling book and see what elements in it have made it a best seller. Is it the topic of the story? Perhaps our book is not as exciting or dynamic as we thought and by reading we can get some ideas of how to pick up the pace with it. Perhaps we have too much dialogue or not enough. Perhaps we use words that we found in the thesaurus that just don’t suit the story.
There are many things we can learn from reading another author’s book. And if we never read then we’ll never know what it is about our own story that is keeping it on the back shelves of the library while others are the ones readers are talking about. The book in the picture is my latest book in my y/a series, but you can read any book that is similar to your own for a reference.
So, when we’re plotting out our time to write, we must remember to schedule in time to read. Happy writing!
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