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Staying motivated...non-writing books!

Cheryl's Musings: Staying motivated...non-writing books!

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Staying motivated...non-writing books!

Another way I kick-start my writing life is to pick up a particularly good book in the genre I write--or five books or even ten. Sometimes I read them cover-to-cover, especially if it's a new read. Sometimes, though, I just read passages. Am I stuck on a transition? I'll pick up Hilari Bell's Wizard Test and read her transition from chapter 1 to chapter 2. Am I working on dialog? I'll pick up I, Freddy by Dietlof Rieche and take note of how often he uses dialog tags. Am I worried about story structure? I'll make a chapter-by-chapter outline City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau and highlight turning points and plot climax.

Don't get me wrong--I'm not always analyzing what I read. But there's a little part of my brain that continues to think like a writer in the background. I'm not sure if it's something I cultivated or if it came automatically--I think I had to work at it at first! Now, though, I can harvest insights from my reading.

Does it detract from my enjoyment of a great book? No. In a way, I appreciate good writing more now than I would have before, because I know just how hard easy-to-read prose is to write! And meanwhile, while I'm waiting for my creative energy to recharge, I can multitask: I enjoy some fun reading while I take note of the craft concepts I'm ready to use in my own writing.

Ah. Gotta love being a writer. We get to read and read and consider it work :).

P.S.--In honor of good books, the photo shows one of my favorite young readers dressed as Eragon for Halloween. Go, Dragon Riders!


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