Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Read, Read, Read, Read (Sung to the old song, Sing, Sing, Sing, Sing)

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” -- Stephen King in On Writing.
I read everyday. I read the newspaper to learn what’s going on. I read novels, short stories, articles, and nonfiction, too. Once I started writing, I began reading like a writer. What’s that? As I read, I pay attention to what I like and don’t like and try to figure out why. I don’t care for the protagonist in the novel I’m reading at the moment. He has more faults that positive attributes, as far as I’m concerned. This slows the pace for me. On the other hand, I like the sparseness of the description. The author provides enough information about the setting to fuel my imagination. The same is true for the two main characters, a husband and wife who are in law enforcement. I don’t know exactly how old they are, or the color of their hair, if they’re physically fit or obese, tall or short. It doesn’t matter. It gives me the opportunity to fill in the blanks with my own ideas of their appearance. Perhaps this is the point of an earlier quote about getting the readers involved in the story.

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