There is something that unite all of us here on this blog, something special. It’s at the heart of every adventurer and in the mind of everything explorer. It sits in our hands and in the reflection of our eyes as we look to our futures.
It’s more than just “words” though. Specifically, that glue that ties us together is books.
It’s safe to assume if you’ve landed on my site, you’re as big of a fan of the written word as I am. Ever since I was a child, I hungered for more reading material. Well before I could read, I would sit on my bed, flipping through each page by myself, exploring the worlds they offered.
Not much changed until I became a writer. My time began to be eaten away at by my desire to better my writing. Hours I would spend scanning the pages of a book shifted into hours staring at my own writing, miserable that I couldn’t seem to mold the end result the way I wanted.
I was missing a vital piece: To write well, you must read well.
As authors, we have a duty to explore the worlds around us. In my last Instagram post, I talked in great detail about our duty to explore nature and witness the natural occurrences of this world not only for ourselves, but for our readers. Reading, and discovering those worlds, is for us. When we explore those worlds shoved into words, we are learning. What works, what doesn’t work, what we like emulate, we discover it all as we read. We are engaging our brains in subconscious learning and teaching it what we want to see when we put forth effort to write.
We must read profusely to be able to craft a great story.
If we adopt the traits of our loved ones and friends, it would make sense that as a writer, we sink our teeth into the styles and habits of our five most read authors or genres. If we draw our attention and actively read instead of passively read, we will be able to craft a great story and edit an even better one.
Absorbing information through reading and actively focusing on how it can help our writing means that it’s especially important to read your genre of fiction. A horror writer who only reads romance novels will struggle to capture the fear needed in their choice of writing.
Now, this is where my strangest suggestion comes into play.
But I’m a fiction writer!
So you don’t need “how-to” manuals. Non-fiction is a much larger genre than just manuals, auto-biographies, and the stories of someone traveling the world.
Non-fiction shows us true stories. What better to learn from than a true, wild story?
Historical non-fiction is a great genre to get started in as a writer. In particular, “Dead Mountain: The Untold Story of the Dytalov Pass Incident” by Donnie Eichar is an amazing book. The method of storytelling in the book illuminates a true mystery story. The more we writers read of non-fiction, the more realistic our stories can become.
We can more easily grasp what is too big of a stretch for our readers and what makes perfect sense.
Before I let this get too long-winded, I’ll cut myself off here and simply say:
Go read a good book.