Reading and Writing

One piece of advice I’ve received:

If you are going to write, you need to read.

It’s good advice. I have re-read the first chapters of about five books in the last week. While I like the first chapter of my book, it’s more of an intro than a chapter. The real first chapter is after that, but as it stands, it is more about the action than the characters. One of my alpha readers suggested I get more character in there… I re-wrote a new intro. Julianne says it is better at giving back story on the characters, but I’m still not in love with it. It really only helps with one backstory, when I think if I add five or so more paragraphs, I can really cover all four characters from the first village.

But, reading other books to see how they are written has some drawbacks, at least for me. Sometimes I find myself analyzing the writing, rather than enjoying the writing. I think that over time, that will change, and I’ll be able to separate the two activities….reading for research and reading for pleasure, but we’ll see.

I’ve also been reading emails and even form letters more carefully. I signed up for a copywriting group, and they spam me like crazy. I also talked to Julianne about talking to someone she knows that writes copy for a living. Anyway, one of the suggestions from the copywrite group is to read a lot. And to look at copy, and see what works, and what doesnt’. What I find fascinating is how much I hate the general format of the copywrite group’s letters. They are so long, I lose interest. They never seem to get to the point. It’s odd, and I wonder how others react to their length. They must work, I’d think, since they are a bunch of copy writers….but still.

But, in reading letters, I have seen some things that seem to work better than other things. I’ll be taking notes on that, if I decide to go that way, so was to better recall what I think I’ve learned. Now that I think about it, I guess I should do that for novel writing also! Of course, I often think I’m going to do stuff like this, and don’t, so we’ll see. Andy be we, I mean we. If I do take notes on novel writing, I’ll share them here.

Anyway, I need to head to the store for ramen ingredients….

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