Reading list, as demonstrated by Stan the bear.
We’ve all heard the age-old snippet of wisdom; to be a good writer, you must read often and you must read a wide variety of genres.
I whole-heartedly believe this. Prior to writing my novel (which I started just over a year ago), I did read. BUT I read mainly one genre (crime) and went through random spurts of reading a lot and then not reading at all (shame on me!).
Reading a lot of one genre can be helpful if you intend on writing in said genre, as you begin to notice the conventions used in each. For example, in crime novels, you have the afflicted detective, the hot-and-heavy romantic sub-plot and the ‘OH-MY-GOODNESS-THE-DETECTIVE IS THE MURDERER’S NEXT VICTIM’ plot elements.
It is unsurprising that the repetitiveness of reading the same re-hashed plot resulted in boredom, so I set myself the task (during the past six months or so), to read a wider variety of genres. I’ve since found that by opening my mind, I am more aware of the different ways of approaching elements of novel writing, such as writing style, character development and structure to name a few. I also noticed things in certain novels that I disliked, hence made a mental note to avoid these when writing my own.
Long story short, reading, and reading widely, is an invaluable (and enjoyable!) tool for writers. I intend on doing a post in the not-too-distant future discussing my recent reads, as well as a few in-depth reviews. Hopefully, this will help those of you who may be stuck in a genre-rut to open your mind, and begin challenging yourself to read novels that may not instantly appeal to you. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
For those of you who are stuck as to what to read next, have a glance at my planned reading list below, and see if anything takes your fancy!
The Ice Twins by S.K Tremayne (thriller / mystery)
MY PLANNED READING LIST
(I imagine this list will triple, as our birthday is on Sunday, but here it is as it stands at the moment…)
Summer at the Lake by Erica James (contemporary / women’s fiction)
Beneath the Lake by Christopher Ransom (crime / thriller)
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – And no, I haven’t watched the film! (Psychological thriller)
Set in Stone by Robert Goddard – Becca is currently reading this (suspense / thriller / crime)
Girl from the South by Joanna Trollope (contemporary / women’s fiction / romance)
The Drowning Girl by Margaret Leroy (mystery / paranormal)
Lost River by Stephen Booth (mystery / crime)
What She Left by TR Richmond (thriller / mystery / YA)
The Sins of the Mother by Danielle Steel (contemporary / women’s fiction / romance)