Read. If you're going to be a writer, it's something that you have to do. It’s like any artistic craft; there are countless examples of those works deemed “good” by society, which in turn can be models of your own future pieces. I’m pretty sure I told this story in one of my first posts so I won’t bore you with the details, but the reason I’m now a writer is because of my own experiences with reading. Every time I read a book I discover new techniques I might utilize later in my own writing endeavors.
Now, by no means am I suggesting that a writer must plagiarize. If you were to publish a book and then someone came along and stole your ideas, characters, and world, would you appreciate it? I know I wouldn’t. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but there are other ways to express your admiration.
What I’m talking about is style and technique. For the longest time I thought writing long winded, wordy sentences was the “right way to write.” For whatever reason, I also thought the longer and more complex my words were, the better my writing would be. Boy, was I wrong. By reading as many books as I possibly can and thus exposing myself to a variety of authors and writing styles I have discovered new and improved ways to approach the craft. Some of these techniques I’ve discussed in recent posts, while others I might tackle in later ones.
In closing, my advice is to read. As simple as it may sound, it will help you immensely in the long run. I just finished the seventh book in the Sword of Truth series, The Pillars of Creation, and not only has Terry Goodkind taught me so much about character development, dialogue, description and detail, his characters, Richard and Kahlan, inspire me to continue pursuing my craft.
That’s all for now,
A Fellow Writer.