Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Posts tagged “Reading

Quote

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

~Charles William Eliot


My Vice

Here it is, my latest vice. It has wrapped itself around me in a strangle hold.

George R. R. Martin. A Storm Of Swords:

                                                                 (Via Wikipedia)

I simply cannot put this series of books down. A must read for any fantasy fan (BEFORE you watch the TV series mind you). I’m not a fan of spoiler reviews so I won’t go into length here other than to say, these stories pull you in and refuse to let go. Highly addicting and time well spent.

Game Of Thrones (#1)

A Clash Of Kings (#2)

A Storm Of Swords (#3)

A Feast For Crows (#4)

And the long-awaited A Dance With Dragons (#5) released July 2011

There are said to be 7 planned novels in this series, A Song Of Ice And Fire.


I don’t read.

I tried not to squawk or burst out laughing or stare. But as I sat quietly, my head shot up and I did stare. And I’m almost sure I shook my head, rolled my eyes and in some other way, incriminated myself, as I gawked in total disbelief at two women having conversation in the local hair salon.

I fidgeted in my chair and attempted to look normal, crossing and un-crossing my legs, wanting desperately to stand up and say: “What do you mean, you don’t read? Are you INSANE?” But I didn’t do that. No, I did what any other respectable writer would do, I yanked out my iPhone and began filling my notes app with their conversation.

“Oh gosh no, I just can’t concentrate for that long. I mean some books are 500 pages! Who has time for that?” She went on. “Really though, even if I did have the time, why would I want to read a book that long? I’ve got better things to do.”

WOW.

Even if I wasn’t a writer and a voracious reader, I still would have been speechless. Seriously? Reading is a waste of time??

It got me thinking.

The perception of reading is a varied one. One that is generally learned from childhood. If you are introduced to reading in a positive way as a child, you are more likely to love reading as an adult. If not..well, you’re missing out on a truly incredible part of life.

One of the main reasons, if not the main reason I read so much, is because of my mom who ALWAYS reads. She recommends books, passes them down to me and had me reading novels at a very young age. I was taught to love books by example. And what an important example it was and continues to be. I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t have a genuine love for books.

So although it has been said before, I have to say it again, hats off to JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyer for gaining an enormous wealth of young readers. Regardless of whether you are or aren’t a Harry Potter or Twilight fan, these authors both did something very special.

They got millions of kids to read. Millions. And they changed the view of reading from something kids thought was a boring waste, to something they thought was cool and important and fun.

They changed the way generations of kids view books.

And thank goodness for that because as writers we need as many readers as we can possibly get.


Character development

It seems the more I write, the more I read.  And the more I inadvertently watch character development. I’ve been reading a ridiculous amount recently, it helps immensely to widen the scope in my own writing and I’ve seen more and more how  imperative it is to show the reader what you see as the author.

I can sit here at my laptop and edit or add text or work on a different book. I can choose any of my WIP‘s and vividly see  my landscapes, my worlds, my characters and the intimate ways they all culminate. I can flip from novel to novel, brand new or a year old and see them all as though I were watching a movie. But my goal is to make the reader see what I see. That is also, I believe one of the biggest challenges for a lot of writers. All those minute details that are needed to bring words off the page and to life.

I was recently reading one of the books on my ‘Currently Reading’ list and felt that familair tug of wanting more. More detail, more…life.  It seemed at the end of the day (or book) I still wouldn’t feel connected to a certain character. I didn’t feel the pull that I am sure the author intended, that I am sure the author felt as it was being written.

My point being just because you, as the author, feel it and see it and know it doesn’t mean you are conveying it to the reader. I think we (me too!) have a tendency to get so caught up in our story, so excited or touched or moved by everything we are creating, that we sometimes forget the reader can’t see inside our heads. It’s our job to transport them into our imagination and hope they feel nice and comfortable and choose to stay a while.

So read your dialogue out loud and see how it sounds when it isn’t only in your own head. Hear how it sounds to someone who isn’t already in love with the main character because he only just got introduced.