For those of you who follow me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bridget.midway) know that I post whatever book I'm reading. I had made a determination a few years ago that in order to be a good writer -- which as writers, we all strive to be -- I had to be a good reader. "Huh? What? Come again." Yes, that's right, folks. In order to pump out the best fiction for you all, writers have to read, too.
No one crinkles their noses or shakes their heads when a Realtor says that he/she needs to attend a real estate conference to learn about changes in the market and how to adapt. No one bats an eye if a nurse, doctor or dentist attends a medical re-certification session for their job. So why would it seem strange that in order for a writer to improve their craft, he/she will have to read?
So what do I read? Everything. But what I've been trying to do is read a book on writing fiction, then a fiction book of my choice. Reading the how-to book is a no-brainer. I learn about plotting, setting, description, point of view, characterization, conflict, and more. All of it helps me when I'm writing a story. If I don't keep you all engaged, then I haven't done my job. The last book I read was The Making of a Story by Alice LaPlante.The book reminded me so much of the creative writing classes I took in high school and grad school. In between each lesson in the book, a short, fictional work appeared. So after a section on writing something with great descriptions, you got a piece by Raymond Carver. Talk about a lesson in fiction!
So after reading something like that, I read something fun. I can't just immerse myself in creative writing books all the time. I have to see how other authors write. Believe it or not, it does help. I also learn from every author I read. Some authors are masters at description or pacing or conflict. I'll read something and think, "Okay, I need to learn how to do that in my work." Even if the work doesn't get 4 and 5 star ratings or gets great reviews, I still learn something from it. I haven't encountered a book where the story didn't keep me engaged. Have I come across books with misspelled words? Sure. Have I come across books with missing or misused punctuation? All the time. If I an author can get me through that for me to get into the story, they've done their jobs.
What am I reading now? At the moment, I'm reading "Four Hard S.W.A.T.S" by Marteeka Karland. Last year, author Yvette Hines and I put on a BDSM conference to announce the release of our Decadent Series titles, Red Hots and Licorice Whips. The attendees were a mix of authors, readers, and people in the Lifestyle. After our event, an author sent me her latest release, saying that she wrote the book because she was inspired by what she heard and saw at our event. That makes me happy. It's great when an author can get inspired by something you do.
With that in mind, I have to go! I've already been inspired so I need to get writing. Hope you all dig it.