Learn to Write by Reading

 

Writing anything is already a difficult task, but writing a book is even harder. Plenty of people say they want to write a book, but they lack the skills or the time or they simply don’t know where to start. If you’re dreaming of writing a book and you don’t know where to start, it’s very simple: read. 

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Read Everything

Start by reading, and I don’t mean just books about writing. Fiction can teach you about story structures, give you a feel for characters and feed your creative endeavors. Non-Fiction can be a constant source of inspiration, from historical studies to an engineers autobiography to the latest scientific research. 

Outside Your Genre

Read outside your genre for ideas and to get a better sense of what people are interested in. If you’re writing literary fiction, try genre stories and pop fiction to help you connect with what other audiences enjoy. If you’re writing action, read romance now and again to help your story find its heart. Diversify your to be read pile and you will find that your writing becomes deeper and will enjoy broader appeal.

Inside Your Genre

Most importantly, read inside your genre to learn what other authors are doing. This is more than just market research or checking out the competition. You need to stay informed about the conversations that are happening in your field, just the way any professional would. What niche will your story fill, and what niches are already full to bursting? Only by reading extensively within your own genre can you find out.

The great news is that odds are you already do this. If you’re at all interested in writing a book, the odds are you enjoy reading books. If you enjoy reading books, and you’ve read widely and enthusiastically, then you are ready to start writing. Most importantly, read inside your genre to learn what other authors are doing.

This is more than just market research or checking out the competition. You need to stay informed about the conversations that are happening in your field, just the way any professional would. Non-Fiction can be a constant source of inspiration, from historical studies to an engineer’s autobiography to the latest scientific research.  Writing anything is already a difficult task, but writing a book is even harder. Plenty of people say they want to write a book, but they lack the skills or the time or they simply don’t know where to start.