Inspiration from reading

I tried everyting to get to sleep last night. Well, everythign except closign the book and putting it on the nightstand. Let's not get too crazy.Inspiration comes from many places when you’re a writer – friends, events, things you do and see.

Sometimes by reading books.

Writers are readers, but there’s a catch. The more I understand the craft of writing, the more difficult I find it to get drawn into a book.

If you’re anything like me, you tend to notice craft issues:

  • telling (versus showing)
  • POV shifts
  • poorly constructed sentences
  • passive voice.

The list goes on, and they all throw me out of a story.

And then there’s a further limiting factor – the story itself. When you’ve read a lot, stories start to look the same.

It’s probably why short stories often aim for originality. You can devour a dozen or more short stories for every novel you read, if that’s your passion.

I love epic fantasy, but I struggle to read it these days. I’ve seen my full share of evil overlords and farm boys and similar tropes, and so it takes a rare book with those tropes to draw me in.

That’s not to say they’re not a valid trope, only that I’ve read hundreds of incarnations of that story.

When reading for pleasure, I tend to pick up books and give them a chapter at most to draw me in.

If they don’t, they’ll probably never get read.

Harsh? Maybe.

And so it’s a complete pleasure when I pick up a book and get sucked right in, as I did recently.

While I’m not going to call it high art, I came away feeling inspired to write.

Here was a rare author who could draw me in and get me involved in the character’s life.

For the first time in about a year I cared what happened to a protagonist.

That’s a rare gift.

And an inspirational one.

If you’ve got a favourite book you think will draw me in, please let me know in the comment section below. Until then, the muse has struck, so now it’s time to write.

2 thoughts on “Inspiration from reading

  1. oh, oh, what was the book you got sucked into recently?
    I’m the same with fantasy. I used to read tons of it, all the time, but I might be fantasyed out because I’m finding it all the same. Which is a shame because I still like fantasy (if that makes sense)/

    • Hi Lynda, it was The Bone Season, which started out looking like a near-future/alternative history sci-fi story (I picked it up as a freebie at a Con), but it progressively took on the traits of a paranormal romance. By then I’d been sucked in. The ending didn’t grab me enough to want to buy the next one, but I still enjoyed it.

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