…….when you’re NOT writing?
A good writer is also a good reader, according to Stephen King in his book “On Writing”, which I like to dust off every once in while for inspiration. It may seem like something simple, something that won’t really do anything but to give one’s poor over-squeezed brain a rest, but it’s so very true.
I write romance. More specifically, I write erotic romance. I also enjoying reading good erotic romance. When I’m on vacation from writing, I read lots of erotic romance, some good, some not so good and some….well, you’ve seen the reviews on Amazon. I’m not bashing. I’m just saying “à chacun son goût”. Or to twist a Madonna lyric, “What works for me….may not work for you.”
But while I’m writing these spicy little stories I don’t read romance. I read old Stephen King. I read Ed McBain. I read Louis L’Amour. I read older Michael Connelly, specifically the Harry Bosch series. I read Madeline L’Engle. I’ll even pick up The Magician’s Nephew if I’m in the mood.
Why? Because I like to read different stuff than what I’m writing while I’m writing. It gives me a little vacay from the romance world that I live in when I’m writing and gives my mind a break from my heroine’s or hero’s distress of the moment.
Reading in a different genre also give me great inspiration on dialogue, how men write men speaking and how men write how men perceive women outside of the romance genre. How C.S. Lewis turns a phrase to describe Mr. Tumnus’ fright when the White Queen’s name is mentioned. It’s great fun to take these literary ideas and mold them to my own devices. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s amusing to try and it clears the mind.
What do you read while you’re writing, if you find the time to read at all?
J.L. Campbell says
I write romantic suspense and like you, I read different things. When I’m not writing, I’ll read romance,but mostly I read those who write in different genres. It does open up the mind to how other writers craft their stories and I’m always learning from other people.
I can’t agree more with the “open up the mind”. Sometimes even a simple newspaper article or even an advice column can give you ideas for a story or a different way of expressing an idea.
Thank you for stopping by today!
Great post. I always say I’m a reader first and a writer second. Yes, I’m always reading: newspapers, magazines, etc. I also write romance, but I’m a non-fiction junkie, and a music junkie. So I read a lot of rock n’ roll biographies and autobiographies. I just finished Duff McKagan’s It’s So Easy and Other Lies.
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