Learning from other authors can help you at any stage to become a better writer. Writers learn from other writers so reading becomes very important. I love reading whenever I can because it reminds me of the journey I want to take my readers on.
What to look for as you read
What did you like? What were you confused about or would have done differently and why? If you don’t like an author’s writing think about specific things you didn’t like and avoid them. If you like their writing think about what you liked and make notes of it for your own book. Not to copy but to learn.
Read books in your niche
If you write romance poetry, read romance poetry. If you write horror stories, read horror stories and take notes. Reading books in the same niche teaches you how other writers do it and give tips on how you should do it. Were their introduction attention grabbing? How did it end? Did it have suspense of the big finale? Reading can tell you what to do and what not to do so be sure to keep mental notes.
Add your uniqueness
Only you can write the way you write so don’t be afraid to show it off. If you’re funny, add a little humor. If you’re part Italian drop a few Italian words in your work. Be creative. Your style is your style and no one can ever write like you because all writers have different writing and life experiences. Take what you’ve learn and grow on it.
You don’t know everything and you never will. Learning to be a good writer means learning form the best. When you read their works, don’t think of it as viewing your competitors but as a learning experience from fellow authors. Remember, writers never stop learning.
Not all readers write but all Writers read
Reading and writing goes well together. (I was going to do a cliché here but naw). Reading is practice for both writers and authors. Don’t get too caught up in your writing that you forget the reason you wanted to write in the first place( hoping it’s to take your readers on a journey they’d never forget and not so much money because if that was the case you’d make more money in another profession).
Learning is not copying
There’s a difference between reading to learn from someone and reading to copy from someone. Never copy someone’s idea or try to intimate their style. No one likes a copycat and I’m not telling you to be one. I’m telling you to look for inspiration to do what you love by being around what you love. And what you love is writing great work.
Please share what you can learn by reading in the comments. Would love to read your opinions.