Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Read...Read...Read and Then, Read More

I still remember the first chapter book I ever read...Alice in Wonderland.  It opened a world of magic for me.  When I was in the seventh grade, a wonderful teacher taught me what it was like to write my stories and actually encouraged me because quote, "I want to see your books on my shelves one day."  Another bit of advice she gave her whole class was, "If you are going to write, you must read."  I want to focus on that last statement. 
If you want to write, you must read.  There are so many reasons why this advice was the best advice I have ever gotten.  The very first reason is it actually sparks your imagination.  My mother was big on sparking our imagination.  When we were little we were required to read a book a week but not only that she made us go outside and play.  We all had big imaginations but I'm the one who asked the most questions.  She didn't let people stop me.  Anyway, books were a big source of imagination because I would ask what if questions.  My book Burned is a perfect example of this.  We were reading Bram Stoker's Dracula in English and in History we were learning about the Salem witch trials.  Because people seemed to hunt them the same way my what if question was...What if vampires and witches were bound together?  Would those fanatics have still been able to burn them? 
This is how every one of my books start...With a question.  Writing the story gives the answer.
The next reason you should read is because you gain vocabulary.  There were so many times I looked up a word to find out what it meant but now, they are part of my writing.  Learning that vocabulary gives me different ways to describe objects and people and so many other things.  It keeps me from being repetitive because I know different words that mean the same exact thing.  Also, it helps me learn grammar.  I am far from an expert.  I'm still learning.  Still, I've come a long way. 
The last reason I'm going to give you to read is simple.  If you want to be a writer, you must study your craft.  That means you should read all types of writing.  You would be surprised how much reading will craft your own writing voice and style.  If you continue to read, it will constantly evolve and believe me when I say you want that evolution. 
So, make time every day to read.  Read anything that strikes your fancy.  Open that book and feel the magic and let it spark your creativity and then, pick up your pen or open that word document and create your own story...Your own magic.

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