The most common writing advice I have received is to “read, read, read and write, write, write.” When I first heard this, I thought the reading part was easy. After all, I loved to read; it’s one of the reasons I’m a writer. But at the time, I would finish a book, make a mental note of whether I thought it was good or not, and move on to the next one. Recently, I discovered a different approach to my reading. I started noticing the pieces that make a book work and applying them to my own writing. So here’s my advice on reading:
First, learn about the mechanics of a story by reading books about writing or attending writing workshops. That way you’ll know the basics of what to look for. Then, when you finish a book, ask yourself what you liked about it. Was it the interesting characters, exciting plot, vivid descriptions, or did something else jump out at you? Likewise, if you didn’t like the book, or worse, couldn’t finish it, ask what went wrong. Were the characters flat, the plot boring, pacing too slow? Reading books in this way helps you to know what to put in to your writing and what to leave out. And it enables you to reach the ultimate goal of writing a book your readers can’t put down.
May 19, 2012
Ever wish your prose read as lyrically as the masters do?
Guest speaker, Jenna Hodges Struble, will talk about the use of poetic language in novels and short stories.
Enhance your work to take the reader on a sensory journey that they will wish has no end. Learn how to write more descriptively with exercises and techniques from Jenna Hodges Struble.
Jenna has been writing for over 20 years, is a published poet and recording artist with her spoken word. She has taught creative writing to youth and adults for four years in the Amarillo area under the umbrella of the Writer’s Voice Program at the Amarillo YMCA. She has also been a guest instructor at the Austin International Poetry Festival and Y of the USA. Jenna has helped develop creative writing curriculum for several YMCA’s and youth poetry organizations around the country. Jenna is recently married to acclaimed creator and author for Image Comic’s Li’l Depressed Boy, S. Steven Struble.
I thought I might pass on links to some of my favorite blogs. So, I’ve assembled a list of 10, plus a bonus blog, because I just couldn’t stop at 10.
These blogs offer advice and tips from editors, agents and writers on all aspects of the writing life. Some include writing prompts from time to time, for those days when you just can’t seem to get started. A couple of these blogs are genre-specific and might not interest everyone.
I’ve picked these up from friends on facebook, from Writer’s Digest lists and from recommendations by fellow writers. One of them, called Write News is news on the latest issues and advances in the areas of marketing, publishing and copyright. I look to Grammar Book for help with issues of grammar and usage that often plague even the best of us.
The bonus blog is one I think should be an essential for a every writer. It’s maintained by the Science Fiction Writers Association, but is devoted to helping new writers and well-published writers alike avoid getting scammed.
Enjoy surfing through these sites and comment on the ones you liked. Either click on the link or copy and paste in your browser.
These are only a small sample of the excellent blogs out there for writers. Do you have a favorite I’ve missed, or a blog of your own on writing? Tell us about it, please.