Wednesday, February 3, 2016

IWSG: Writing & Reading


Today, I'm posting for The Insecure Writer's Support Group for February.  IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month's host are Allison Gammons, Tamara Narayan, Eva E. Solar, Rachel Pattison, and Ann V. Friend!

Progress is slow right now.  I'm hoping things will move a bit faster, but it challenged with managing all aspects of my life.  Sometimes even keeping up with my blog is a challenge. Sigh.  I won't bemoan those everyday challenges, because they are what they are, and I'm working through that.  Anyway, I saw a quote recently from Stephen King that mentioned the importance of reading in order to be a good writer.  Sometimes that's difficult for writers since we usually have so much on our plates.  I do read often at night when I can't sleep, I'll read a chapter or two.  One of the last books I read was At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen and I really enjoyed it.  I'm not sure if I completely agree with Stephen King's comment entirely, but he does have a point.  How would be know what we like or don't like unless we read.  Right?  Anyway, I thought to ask my friends, do you agree with that statement or do you think it's a bit too harsh?  And if you don't mind, please share a book you read recently.



Hope a fantastic Wednesday!

Mina Burrows

13 comments:

Chrys Fey said...

Last year I didn't do as much reading as I usually do because I was so busy. But I have a list of books and ebooks I want to read this year, so I'm hoping to remedy that.

As for the quote, I think it is a bit too harsh. As you said, we're busy people. We have a lot to do with writing, editing, and promoting. Sometimes there's no time to read. But I can bet that we all have read a little bit even during those times.

Happy Reading! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It also helps us to see good writing when we read. Sometimes bad writing as well...

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

If I don't read for a little while every day, I get cranky. :)

I enjoyed that Gruen book, too. I just finished - and loved! - THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH, a middle grade novel by Ali Benjamin. (All my recent reads and ratings etc are over on Goodreads.)

Lidy said...

I agree somewhat. Even it's just only 10 or 15 minutes you can find the time to read. But life gets crazy and before you know it, you're crashing into bed by the end of the day. Still, you should at least make the effort to read. And as much as reading is an enjoyable experience, it's also a learning one. It's the fastest way to see how well written and well told story is supposed to be.

Chris Chelser said...

Funny I should happen on your post when my IWSG post today is about this exact same thing. I don't read a lot of fiction. When I do, I binge and I've been known to finish even longer books in one sitting. Reading just a few pages every time, I'd loose thread of the story and simple not continue after a few times.

But there are other things that aid a writer and make up for not reading fiction. (I really, really do not agree with Mr King on this.)

As for reading: I've tried 'The Legacy' by Jill Rowan, but couldn't finish. Next on my list is 'The Feaster From The Stars' by Alan. K. Baker. No idea if that is up your alley and I have no idea if it's any good, but why not give it a try? :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

For me, I tend to agree with King's statement. Reading excellent books helps me to hone my own writing. Although, when I'm knee deep in an ms, I don't read as much because I don't want it to influence what I'm writing.

I also read before going to sleep, even if it's a page or two...

I understand how life throws us challenges on a daily basis, and it can be hard to settle down and write. Wishing you a challenged free week.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I do agree with King. I'm shocked to hear a writer say they don't read. I seldom skip reading every day even if it's only a few pages or a short story online. I learn so much from reading and find relaxation and joy in it.

Cynthia said...

When I get sucked into a really good book, I find myself making the time to finish it. And if it's a good book, I don't regard it as "homework" to make me a better writer. Rather, I think of it as pleasure reading.



Cynthia said...

But that said, I understand that we all have varying schedules and responsibilities and therefore we should pace ourselves according to what works for us.

Tamara Narayan said...

Stephen King is my favorite author, so of course, I agree with him. Reading teaches me continuously about writing: pacing, characters, dialogue, plot development, and on and on. Of course I'm a book addict, so it's easy for me to fall on his side. Reading calms me down and takes away my stress, much like a drink would do for someone else I imagine.

Right now I am rereading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I've read all her books and they are all worth a look.

Welcome to the IWSG from one of this month's co-hosts!

Heather R. Holden said...

Sorry progress is so slow for you right now. I can relate. If only there were more hours in the day to get things done!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I do agree with what King said. If you don't read, you don't have the tools for writing a good story. Also, if you don't read in the genre and for the target audience you write, you don't know what the expectations are.

I belong to a FB group where a woman recently posted that she had a 500 page YA novel with an 8-year old protagonist and an agent had advised her maybe her target audience should be children instead of teens. Her question to the group: "What's the difference?" Not "where is the fine line between YA and MG" or anything like that. She thought all children's books were YA. Meaning she hadn't read any recently.

A member responded that if it was 500 pages with mature themes and an 8 year old protag, maybe she was writing an adult novel. She said no, she wanted to write for kids. She wasn't planning to make any changes to what she wrote. She just wanted to know how to label it in her queries.

I am thinking that she should try reading a few YA and MG books -- and then revise accordingly.

A book I recently read and enjoyed: 14 by Peter Clines. A creepy, scary mystery with lots of theoretical physics woven in. Think LOST -- if the whole island were squeezed into one apartment building.

Stephsco said...

I love that Stephen King quote, and also how he gives you permission to ignore friends and family to read ;) All within reason of course. Given the average adult maybe reads a handful of books a year, if they read at all, for me reading less is still a couple books a month. Sometimes I'm able to read more. the point is, you need to be a reader to be a truly great writer, and I am on board with that. :)

Here's my IWSG March post: How to Succeed at Twitter Without Really Trying