I am enjoying posting my thoughts and ideas about writing. I do not presume to tell anyone how they should write or what they should do to become a better writer. But I know that a writer needs to do two essential things to improve; you, of course, need to write (funny that) and read. And that’s just the beginning. In my experience as a budding fiction writer, writing is hard to do period and an even harder challenge to do well.
Nowadays we have so many tools at our disposal that it gets a little silly. You have Grammarly, you have Scrivener and Fictionary if you’re a fiction writer. You can use ProWritingAid if you want to improve everything from your writing structure to the pace. There is a tool to do everything “better”, but none of that will matter if you’re not writing.
And then there’s reading. I’ve mentioned this in an earlier post. Almost every “famous” writer says that to write well, you must read. Quite simple. If you’re not a reader, you’re missing out on something. What could that something be, you might ask yourself. You could spend a lifetime trying to discover the answer. Don’t look at me. I’m winging it just like everyone else! But I am trying to use what I have to improve. And that will almost always mean you must read and you must learn from other writers.
If you’re a fiction writer, reading is an absolute must. How can you understand anything at all about fiction if you’re not reading it? You might think reading other writers could taint your own uniqueness and style if you do it too often. I doubt that would ever happen unless you’re trying to emulate a famous writer (which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion). If that is how you progress with your writing, I say go for it! Do whatever you must.
As for me, I’m leaning heavily on self-expression at the moment. I’m working through something. I am not quite sure what that is yet. But it’s there. And when it’s hungry enough to eat, I’ll head back to Tales of the West and hopefully find even hungrier characters waiting for me to breathe life back into them.
Hmm, now I’m actually feeling quite ravenous.