Monday, November 2, 2009

More on Reading

If you want to write short stories [JH: or novels, or memoirs, or whatever], you have to read short stories [JH: or N, M, W]. Read the kind of story you would like to write, and read the magazines and anthologies you’d like to be publish in. . . Reading good fiction is like giving your own prose injections of vitamins. -- Ruth Moose in “What makes a good short story?” [in The Writer online. This article is available to subscribers only.]
The importance of reading has been mentioned many times on this blog. My goal is to read a few published short-shorts each week. I’m sure there are weeks when that hasn’t happened. As for reading what you want to publish, I’d like to be published in a literary magazine. I read stories in a few of the more highly regarded zines and, once in a while, select one to analyze further.  I’ve submitted a handful of stories to these pubs, but they’ve all be rejected. Why? I wish I knew. Perhaps my reading brain and my writing brain aren’t in sync yet. Some people fret because they don’t have the time to read. I have those days; but I manage to read something, even if it’s only a single chapter in a novel. I always find writing I like or don’t like in almost everything I read.

2 comments:

Alyssa Ast said...

I happen to read a lot to find research for my articles but 99% of the time it is nothing exciting to read. I have set a new goal to read more books. I think the more you read, the better you will imporve as a writer. The current book I have decided to read is "The Stand" by Stephen King. Great post!

Jim Harrington said...

Thanks, Alyssa, and good luck with "The Stand." I've yet to make it all the way through a Stephen King book. :)