This is another installment by T.L. Hicks in her Start Writing Fiction series. She is my editor at Coffee House Writers and has some great tips for writers. You can find the rest of the article here. I hope you enjoy reading her stuff as much as I do!
Start Writing Fiction: Learning From Reading by T.L. Hicks
The best way to learn fiction writing is by writing. To understand fiction writing you need to read. Yes, you need to read novels and short stories in your genre(s) and out of your genre(s). Read for pleasure the first time around. The second time around, read to learn. Study how the author created their fictional story. It will help you strengthen your writing.
Reading for Pleasure
If you ever took an English class, you know it can take the joy out of reading for fun. That is why your first read should be fun and pleasurable. You get more out of a story when you relax, than tensing up over an analytical paper.
Let the story take you into another world. Enjoy its surroundings, get close to the characters, let the story sweep you off your feet. Have fun; you learn more when you are having fun.
Reading to Learn
Now the fun is over. Put the book away for a few days. Ponder everything in your mind. If you have a separate journal for the stories you read, get it out. Write everything about the story. Pour your feelings out on paper.
After a few days, you have time to think and enjoy. Now it is time to study. Get your notebook out on the story you read. Reread what you wrote. Do you still feel the same or have your feelings changed? What else can we look at? [Read More]