I'd like to think so. I read constantly, probably more than I write, if I'm being honest. But it's not always just for pleasure. While reading, I have a tendency to automatically be in editor mode, so I dissect what I'm reading as I read it. Sometimes that can be a pretty annoying habit, but I feel it also hones my understanding of the craft. I can see what passages work well and why, and I can see places where maybe the manuscript could have been improved. Obviously, I have no say over it, and my opinion differs from that of the professional editor that approved the title, but I still feel like it's good practice. It hones my abilities as a freelance editor, but more importantly, I can take what I found that's good and apply it to my own writing.
I know I'm not reading enough to be a good writer at the moment. I haven't for months really. But at this point, I decided that I needed to put down the books and the photography and my other projects long enough to get the first draft of my manuscript finished! All the other things were major distractions in that regard. I'll go back to reading again when I can start working on the rewrites and editing.
Hell to the no. I'm terrible at this shit. I've had my ups and downs, but I'm in a major reading slump right now--which probably correlates to my major writing slump. Do you personally think there's a connection between reading input and writing output?
Lucy-MerrimanFeatured By OwnerDec 9, 2012Student General Artist
It's funny that you say that. I recently have been making a concerted effort to read more poetry, because I keep writing poetry, and it occurred to me that I really ought to be, you know, devouring the stuff in the genre I write in the most. I mean, htf do I think reading novels will help me write poems?
Same with plays. I tend to resist reading plays because they're inherently visual, and the optimal way to experience them is to see them performed. Reading a script is like peeking behind-the-scenes-- it kinda ruins the magic. But, it also shows you how the trick was done, so, yeah. Something I should do more.
I wish I read more. My usual reading schedule has been thrown off all year, so I hope to fix that in the new year. I used to be able to curl up on a chair and read all day. Now I'm lucky if I stay up long enough to read a chapter of a novel on my iPod before passing out from exhaustion. I'd hardly count reading stuff here on dA as reading because most of the time I'm reading to critique, not because I like it or want to read it.
As for is it enough for me to be a good writer? I think my current reading status is an accurate reflection of my writing ability. I would say I'm an okay writer, borderline good, but I could use more practice at writing and more leisure time for reading. Otherwise I'll be spilling out boring textbook stories, and those are no fun.
I read all the time in high school. I read so much, my parents grounded me from reading as punishment. Now, however; I've entered the real world where it takes a lot of effort to find time for the little things. In all honesty, I do not read enough as I used to. Weeks at a time the only things I find time to read are lit. deviations I spot on DA.
I always worry about that myself, though I am constantly reading. I don't go anywhere without a book or my iPad (it has a Kindle app on it). I just don't see how anybody can expect themselves to be a good writer if they don't read.
One of the only things I miss about unemployment was having ample time to read.
Every day. I always keep a book on me. I read on the train, between classes, and at home (especially enjoyable after a filling meal, and with a cigarette). In total, ~2 hours per day. It could be more. I read less on weekends since I tend to be out spending time with friends, but I think it is just as important for a writer to have experiences to draw from, as well.
Is this enough to make me a good writer? I think I'm getting there.
I don't plan to ever stop reading. Always, always, always, I have a supply of new books waiting to be picked up. I buy new books before I finish all the ones I bought before, because I want to expose myself to as much new reading as possible.
I found myself reading a lot more comic books than fantasy and horror books lately. I still have my short horror stories collections under the bathroom sink for 'recreational reading' but sadly I fear I'm not reading the right material for the kind of writing I do. Each time I pick up a comic book I tell myself that this is the last one... and then I find another I 'have' to read. So now my stories are probably going to take a really odd turn because I currently see images more than well crafted action words.
I would like to add that I am pretty confidant that my bathroom reading has made it so that I can write a halfway decent murder scene. On top of that the transparency of ghosts and other supernatural horror descriptions come easily. Sadly horror is only a small fraction of what I write so I am only reading a small fraction of the right books.
I don't read enough because I have so many books for my course to read - most of which are wordy and have no concept of paragraphs and so take freaking ages - that after that I want to go out and drink rather than look at another book.
It's the holidays now so I'm hoping to read a few more books I want to. Now we're finally done with Mrs Dalloway and Heart of Darkness (they sure love their long sentences and paragraphs tha easily span two pages...) I should have more time. I'm starting old literature next semester though, so no reading for fun then!
The last time I actually finished a book, was in college 2 years ago. Although as I am in need of becoming a better writer for my novel, I am reading 2 books, one is 571 pages and the other is 51. !st one is on Confucianism, second one a is a poetry book called the prophet. Funnily enough these are adequate for me
After finishing these two wonderful books, they will be just what I lacked to make the characters in my story, the settings, dialogue more than what I could have done. To elaborate, of the characters in my book, will include Confucius, Plato, and Mirediel who is a fictional character to represent me but a female. Having read book 1 I can almost get to know Confucius as if I met him, Book 2 gives off a feel of style that Plato probably was used to in his time. With both of these and my own self philosophy I incorporate the personality of Mirediel. These three mentors as spirits, help the main 3 characters and help develop small elements between them and the other main characters in the book. So I told myself I am going to finish book 1 within 2 weeks, then immediately go to book 2 after a few notes. It has got me so excited I decided to explain all that to respond to your question
I don't really care about your story. You need to read more than nonfiction and research titles to be a fiction writer. What was the last novel you read? Why do you think you can be a good writer without reading other fiction?
Well I have read quite a good amount as a child and up. As for the last novel it must have been in 2008, it was terrific I believe it was called Cat's Cradle.
Otherwise from that I pick up stories from games, comics, manga, anime, shows, cartoons, real life, folk lore, plays, you know the whole kazoo. Spent many a day developing different characters, and so on as well as writing poetry since 06. More roughly in 09 til now, it has really pushed me to try my hands at novel, although the two truly are different but still fun.
Do I read lots? Compared to others, I probably read very little. I'm always reading but I'm a slow reader. I reread paragraphs a lot and I spend lots of time analysing what I read and thinking about how I'd do it differently if I were writing it.
Reading is good but I find just reading as much as I can every chance I get just to say I'm reading is like writing five thousand words a day just to be writing. If I'm not actively trying to learn and considering what I'm doing and just expect to absorb information and magically become a better because of it I'm really just wasting time.
After having read this whole ridiculous mess, I believe that you have completely missed the point. In fact, you missed it so badly, that you flung yourself out in to space and got hit by an oncoming comet. I thought that was only possible in cartoons.
This is so comically bad it has reached the point after being funny and straight on into sad.
If you want me to quantify my variables and calculate my point of return in order to give you an accurate representation of how fucking annoying I find you, you will be sadly disappointed. Because I too, can fling random shit at a person until it does or does not stick, and not even bother to find out if I even have a point. Which honestly, is just me mimicking you.
So enjoy your Mickey Mouse rocket ride into space, I hope you burn up on re-entry.
This place is full of philistines and fanboys. You annoyed the mother-bee by virtue of not agreeing automatically with the doctrine she repeats ad nauseam, so obviously you got the bees on your tail. But you got it right!
Well that's nice of you to say. I seem to disagree with Pinky on just about everything but she's always willing to debate and I respect that. I don't know what she thinks about me, nor do I give it much thought. I just enjoy... We'll call it "passionate discussion".
If there are forum groupies around, well they're welcome to say what they like, too. But if it's anything like that last one, I make no guarantees that I'll have even the slightest idea what they're saying to me.
Certain things people naturally absorb. They're mostly related to language. Vocabulary, for a good example, is something you learn by being immersed in. Syntax and grammar can all be learned naturally just by having it used consistently around you. This is just how people are wired to learn language.
On the other hand I don't think narrative structure, characterisation, avoiding cliche, metaphor, tension or conflict are quite as easy to just pick up like when and how to use a semicolon. On a subconscious level you might find you're emulating the books you read and if they're good, you can call that improvement. Which is nifty. That's fine.
But I'd argue it's better to actually be aware of what they're doing and what you're doing and understand how the many parts of a story interact. I prefer writing to be a chemistry experiment rather than a game of Pin The Tail on The Donkey. That's just me.