How I learn writing by reading

Everyone says that if you want to write then you also need to read and I think we all get that. It’s another sort of art to reading when you are also researching books in your genre. It took me a while to figure out a way to read books that I might not immediately be into.

There is an art into reading while learning and it means you slow down to check out the scenery.  Such as the words that are being used to write. Is the author a verbose writer? or is the language quite simple? There is a tendency to over complicate things when it comes to writing but some writers do have a more complex library than say I have.

My writing is geared towards the young adult market so I go for a quite simple style of writing. I worry when I read a book by Will Self or any other book of literature and can see the vast knowledge the writer has of language  but I try to not let it put me off. Only Kazuo Ishiguro reminds me that you don’t have to be clever with words to write a great story. What I mean by that is his style is simple yet his stories so profound.

When I am reading I try to feel the words, notice the grammar and punctuation, and speak out the  punctuation as I read. ‘Short sentence, full stop, comma, very short paragraph.’ I try to get a different feel for the story and I stop and tell myself where the story is going. What is the plot like? Is it a complex plot? Has the writer described the characters very well? How did he describe the characters, through dialogue or by definition?

Does the writer allow the reader to use their own imagination in describing the stories world, or does the writer have deep knowledge and has done oodles of research.  I’m like a madman in a café when I am learning about writing because I read out the words slowly to myself. I also do that when I come to the end of a book I am writing. I just sit and read the words out loudly to myself.  



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