How Reading Can Help Your Writing
by Joanne Troppello
I have always loved to read ever since I was a little girl when I first discovered books. Reading fueled my appetite to learn to write and the rest is history—well, almost. For a while, I was focusing so much on writing my current WIP’s that I didn’t read any new books for over six months. Of course, that’s not beneficial to my writing and I finally realized that.
I recently started doing some book reviews and that has whetted my appetite again to reading and why I love it so much. It’s also reminded me how much as a writer I need to read other books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Sharpening Writing Skills
Reading how other authors write is beneficial to sharpening your own writing skills. If you’re looking closely enough, you’ll see what works for other authors and what doesn’t. Your skills will be honed. When you read books, have fun immersing yourself in the story. However, pay attention to the way the author describes the scenes and how they are delivering dialogue. That’s the point, right—we should always want to do what is necessary to sharpen our skillset and write better novels. At least that’s my goal.
My Writing Journey
I know with my first book, I did not know what I was doing other than basic grammar skills and that I really, really wanted to be an author. However, wanting to be a real author and truly being one—two totally different stories. Being a successful author takes hard work and determination and you always need to take the good with the bad. Are you able to handle constructive criticism from editors, publishers, book reviewers, and even readers…without getting offended? It takes me time to process the criticism, but usually I can get a handle on it and use that to make my writing better. I learned so much from my editors that I’ve worked with at the publishing house for my first book.
I have had two more books published since then. I’m currently working on my fourth. I’m in the second round of my own edits before I feel it’s even ready to send out to a publisher. I’m excited that every day I’m still learning more on how to write better. I have found that working as a copywriter during the day has helped hone my writing skills—even though that is non-fiction work. Starting to read other books again has truly assisted in that journey as well. I’m seeing what other authors are doing and it has been inspiring me to keep writing and following my dreams.
Be Unique and Never Plagiarize
There are different levels of writing and I want to strive to make it to the highest level that I can write. Reading more books can open your mind to those different levels of writing skills. You can compare that to your own set of skills and figure out where you need to improve.
Obviously, your end goal is not to copy another author’s work. That would be plagiarism and wrong! You can check out my article on plagiarism tips to avoid. My point is that reading good, quality work can inspire you to see where your writing skills are lacking and open up your eyes to see where you can improve.
I recently received a Kindle and let’s just say that I LOVE it!! I never thought I would enjoy reading on an eReader since I was an advocate for print books, but after my mom got one— and she was more against the eReader than I was. She convinced me that I would love it and I do.
So, just curious what other people think on the subject of eBooks vs. print books. Do you think print books will become obsolete? If you have an eReader, which kind and what do you like about it?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Pandora's Box Gazette.
She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, internet and media, travel and lifestyle, website content, app recommendations, and content for blogs.