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Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions? : Book Discussion • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Read a good book lately? Want to discuss it with others? Share what you're reading and find out what should be on your bookshelf.
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Lilith Addington
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Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Postby Lilith Addington » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:14 pm

It has been argued that reading is the most fundamental thing one must do to learn how to write. Recently, I have not been reading as much as I should be, and so I'm looking for book suggestions: specifically, suggestions that can teach me a lot about writing. I'm particularly interested in improving my ability to create mood and style, develop characters, and craft meaningful settings, so suggestions showcasing these attributes would be greatly appreciated, though I'd be happy to hear any suggestions you might have of good writing in general.
Thanks! :D
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Dreaming Imrryr
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Re: Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Postby Dreaming Imrryr » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:42 pm

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Last edited by Dreaming Imrryr on Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:31 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Terry T.A. Rodgers
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Re: Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Postby Terry T.A. Rodgers » Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:41 am

I agree with Stephen King. More importantly, depending on what you write, read every bestseller in that genre. They obviously did something right.

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Brien Sz
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Re: Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Postby Brien Sz » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:00 am

If you read a lot, you'll get an idea of what works and what style may best represent the flow in which you will express yourself. Read as much as you can. I like to read and consider myself a steady reader(always have a book or two I'm working on) but I would not consider myself a voracious reader. With my schedule, I can't see how I could read a 100 books a year like some others. However, I have made it a goal to read more this year and it is working. I also see how paying more attention to how various writers write has helped me become more aware of my weaknesses and perceived strengths.

If you like detail, two books I have recently finished are great examples of it - Jennifer McMahon's, Winter People and even more so, Justin Cronin's, The Passage. If you want a more minimalist approach, Cormac McCarthy's, The Road.

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roda havet
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Re: Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Postby roda havet » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:40 am

I love reading books, especially those with a lot of action in them. I just got done reading a series called "The Extinction Cycle". It's a five book series by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. Here are the names of the books themselves: Extinction Horizon (book 1), Extinction Edge (book 2), Extinction Age (book 3), Extinction Evolution (book 4), and Extinction End (book 5). I found this series to be wonderful, though it is a military based book. It has action, a little romance, terrifying monsters, and some awesome heroes, along with great scientist. When I read these books I got lost in it as if I were there side by side with the characters. Mr. Nicholas Sansbury Smith has another series called "Orbs", I haven't read it yet but I'm hoping it will be as great as he other books have been. :mrgreen:
[color=#00BF00]Dream to live, live to dream, and write to love, love to write![/color]

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Agricola
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Re: Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Postby Agricola » Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:14 am


ShortyMe
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Re: Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Postby ShortyMe » Sun May 08, 2016 6:43 pm

I'm not sure what genre you prefer, but from my little "library": if you like reading the works of JRR Tolkien & CS Lewis, then you'll probably like The Singer Trilogy by Calvin Miller. IMO, he's an amazing and gifted writer.
Have a great rest of your weekend!
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pls
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Re: Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Postby pls » Mon May 09, 2016 8:58 am

Read widely; read heavily in your chosen genre. I don't have any specific suggestions, but read the well-known authors, especial Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners in the 20th century. (Stay away from Horatio Alger, lol.)

Okay, I lied. I do have one specific author that I admire over many others: James A. Michener. Read all of his works.
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cynicalwanderer
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Re: Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Postby cynicalwanderer » Mon May 09, 2016 10:46 am

Can't remember who said it, but there's a maxim that you should study 100 books in your chosen genre to learn how to write well, increasing to 1000 books if you to want to learn how to write something great.
"I've stopped giving advice. Even when people ask for it, they resent getting it." -Ross Macdonald.

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The_Scribbler
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Re: Improving my writing by reading: book suggestions?

Postby The_Scribbler » Mon May 09, 2016 10:58 am

Not sure if you mean fiction books or actual books on writing.

Reading fiction novels is essential, plus it's fun. So read what you like. Take note of things the authors do that you like.

If you're looking for specific books on how to improve your craft, try:

The Plot Whisperer - Martha Alderson
The Emotion Thesaurus - Angela Ackerman
On Writing - Stephen King
Self Editing For Fiction Writers - Renni Brown

Hope that helps!




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