Is it important to read to your writing style?

22 Nov

I have been reading the most fascinating book; Kate Adie, The Kindness of Strangers. The Autobiography.

I shall be in the next few days leaving a review.

What I found fascinating, was how reading this text affected my writing. I am aware that I posted just last week about having completed a full chapter, possibly two so to say that it had stopped me writing just wouldn’t be true.

However, where as I can be going about my daily chores with ideas flowing, taking time to think about them, consider them from various viewpoints, I haven’t been able to do this. To be honest, my brain has been dead in terms of creativity.

I had a conversation today about the constrictions of journalism, how it has so much structure it can feel forced (although it does eventually become natural, to some). The person in question has written for a newspaper and he said this has led to lack of creativity, although added for him this was not a bad thing.

I read all the time, but always novels at bedtime. To read an autobiography is out of my comfort zone. I can only contribute this to my ‘dead brain’.

Am I the only one to experience this? Does what you read affect the way you write? Could it be suggested that for a crime writer for example, only read crime novels? Certainly worth consideration at the very least.

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3 Responses to “Is it important to read to your writing style?”

  1. submeg October 30, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    When I watch television series, I like to pick up on the characters and how they are portrayed. What does the director show, what do the script writers say to make the characters individuals? Currently watching lost, which is quite good for that!

  2. aneducationinbooks November 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Of course! I know what I read affects what I write. Sometimes it may be concepts or new themes I take away, and sometimes, when I read outside my comfort zone, it is just one word I take away. But I can never excise what I have absorbed through reading. In fact, I want my reading to affect my writing, and my writing to affect my reading.

    • Ellie November 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

      I always think it is strange that what I read, is not what I would be attracted to watch on TV, or film. What I will say about my reading is that it has always been wide and varied, and if I am honest, i thought my herat lay in chick lit (yes, i admit it!). Once I started writing though, the genre I was drawn to was crime. I then found myself enjoying crime novels much more, and wanting to absorb as much of the style in terms of pace and structure as I could.
      I have alwasy been told once you write, you cannot enjoy reading. Yes I analyse what I read now, but I feel the knowledge I have drawn from writing has enhanced my reading experience.
      One thing I ma sure we can all agree on though, you cant write if you don’t read.

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