Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Writers Read

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”― Stephen King

Ah, the intertwining of reading writing. How often have we explored that? One is so completely wrapped up in the other. On this blog I admit, I talk about writing more than I do reading…despite my best intentions. I am, after all, a writer. 

But it’s always worth stepping back and reminding myself just how interdependent they are. How on earth would one expect to write a story, let alone a GOOD story if that writer didn’t read? Where would that writer think he or she would come by the tools necessary to write if not thorough reading and the love of words? Is writing a special talent bestowed by the gods? Does the writer wake up one morning with the amazing ability to create stunning and engrossing tales?


Yes, there is a talent involved just as there is with an artist. But the artist must also love the creation of art and his brushes and color box just as the writer must be forever in love with words and stories. The artist doesn’t simply wake up one morning with the ability to paint simply coursing through his veins any more than the writer wakes up with his ability. 

There is learning, and appreciation and polishing the craft until it shines. Mr. King is quite correct. If the writer doesn’t make time to read, the tools and the time needed to write are lacking.

It’s worth paying attention in those English classes at school. If you’re not getting what you need in said classes it’s worth pursuing proper English through such things as books like Strunk And White’s Elements of Style or Chicago Manual of Style  or Karen Elizabeth Gordon’s Deluxe Transitive Vampire: A Handbook of Grammar For the Innocent TheEager And the Doomed  or take some additional classes at your local community college or visit your library and check out some helpful grammar and language books or throw something like “learn english grammar online free” into your search engine and see what you find. 

And for heaven’s sakes, read other books. If you intend to write nonfiction, read it and think about how you can do it better. If you love fiction, read in your genre, read, read, read – and in other genres as well. Don’t just learn story structure, feel it and live it. The same goes for script writing. How can you break the rules if you don’t even know what they are? If you’re into writing scripts, read articles about creating them and read scripts!  Here are some teleplays or read scripts at Drew’s Script-O-Rama.

And if you don’t enjoy all this reading, then odds are you really don’t want to be a writer, so don’t, just don’t. 

And if you do enjoy all that reading, you don’t HAVE to be a writer; you can just skip the writing part and have a great time losing yourself in books, scripts, articles, whatever!

But circling back one last time, the writer doesn’t have that luxury. So read.

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