I hear writers say all the time that they are too busy to read. That is so sad L I hope that is never me.
I feel like I learn as much from reading books as from writing books. I find that I enjoy books more as a writer because I am trying to learn everything I can from them. Even if I am reading a book I don’t like, I can appreciate the time and skill it took to create them.
As I read along in a new book. I’m always asking myself questions like:
- Where did the author do well?
- What worked for you?
- Where did the story fail you?
- Where did it exceed your expectations?
- How did the author surprise you?
- What did you need from the story? Did you get it?
- What was your favorite part?
- What did you hate?
As a writer the two questions that have shaped my writing the most are: Where did the story fail? and What did you need from the story?
I think part of reading is about finding the good and bad in a story, so you can learn from it—even if you aren't a writer. But I know I’ve been swept away if I forget all my questions, and just fall into the story.