When I am trying to write constantly (as I’m trying to this spring), I’m astonished how often I have to return to classic literature to get inspiration. When you read random writing tips, up in the first ones, is always “reading”. I always skipped this, blowing it off as unimportant. But I am realizing now, that I can’t write without reading. I can’t create stories very well if i don’t have any examples or inspiration.
Now you can look at real life for examples and characters, and movies have the same effect. And I will admit that I can write without reading constantly. But when I try to read a little every day, no matter what it is, I find that my writing becomes so much more realistic and so much more like a story, not dry words cramped together to make a muddled meaning.
I also find that when I’m writing a lot, I analyse books more. Now, I don’t do this all the time as it somewhat ruins that wonderful feeling of reading a great story. But I love to ask myself; “Ok, how did J.R.R.T. say this, or describe that character. How did he pace this section?” (pacing is one of my current struggles) Or “L.M.M. did this a different way than one would have expected, why?” “What is it in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that makes me laugh so much? What creates that humor? Is it just the randomness? Or something else? “
And then I use those observations in my stories. No, I don’t plagiarize, and no, mine probably won’t be famous, but I can make my stories the best that I can.
And good literature certainly helps. So I will continue to use my Ipod as a light every night, pull a random book out of the stack off my nightstand, and remind myself: You are what you read, Amanda. So read something good.