While at different writers’ conferences, I have heard from several writers that they don’t read their genre or haven’t for a while because they are focusing on their writing…and I have heard the responses from literary agents and writing teachers. Get reading!
And today, I realized that I hadn’t read a full historical fiction novel this month because I have been focusing on working on my new series and busy unpacking/setting up the house, but I can’t forget the benefits of reading during writing. As writers, we owe it to ourselves and to our stories to better educate ourselves through extensive reading in our genre, so brush away the dead vines from your bookshelves and get to reading your old time favorites!
Benefits of Reading Your Genre:
Knowing how to write. What authors in your genre grab your attention? Why do you like their stories? Well, in order to get the answers, you need to study their books.
For writers, reading time isn’t just for pleasure anymore. Between writing and everyday life, we have limited time, so it will have to be two-fold, so have your pen and paper ready and take notes on phrases, word choices, the tone of the story, what made you laugh or what made you cry. Dissect the story. See what makes it work and think on how you can implement those techniques into your own story.
Knowing what’s going on in the market and what the readers like. What books are people talking about? Which ones will be your competition? You want to make your book unique, so it helps to know what is out there before you spend 6 months writing your novel.
Keeping informed on new comparison titles. And while you are writing, keep looking up the comps for your story. If someone released a book that is very similar to your own in April and you are halfway through your book, you might want to check it out at the library and make sure that there is enough of a difference between your book and the new author’s to make editors want to publish you.
Read because it’s awesome. Don’t forget what made you want to write that novel in the first place! Go back to your writing roots and read your favorite author and get inspired again!
(I adopted two little bunnies Saturday, Jane and Lizzie “Bun”net! Pictured is Jane trying to find out who let Netherfield Park at last haha)
I hope you join me in picking up a book in your writing genre this weekend!
(Top Photo Cred: Unsplash.com)