You can find a hundred articles telling you what to read to improve your craft of writing. I certainly have my favorite books that helped me through the process of becoming a professional author. But that’s not what I’m talking about now.
Stephen King said, “If you want to be a great writer, you have to do two things: read a lot and write a lot.“
I didn’t quite understand that at first. He wasn’t talking about craft books, he was talking about books in the genre you write. All books. Read as much as you can. He reads about 80 books a year. I’m not quite there yet because I’m a slow reader, but I do read every day. And I have learned more from reading fiction than from craft books.
I learned what doesn’t work from poorly written books, and I learned what does work from well-written books. Some novels I have tabs on a dozen or more pages marking where I read something so excellent, I wanted to really take it in. Some novels are so well crafted they’re like a masterclass.
I learned PACING from James Patterson’s First To Die and Simone St. James’ The Sundown Motel. Actually, all of Simone’s books are so perfect in their pacing.
I learned POINT OF VIEW, also from Simone St. James’ The Book of Cold Cases and especially from Brom’s Slewfoot – a masterpiece!
I learned how to write CHARACTERS that you fall in love with and want to come back to book after book from M. C. Beaton in all of her Agatha Raisin novels. Also with Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club books. I love every one of them!
I learned how to write EMOTION from many books, some of my favorite are William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace.
Then there are those books that do everything – pacing, page turners, fascinating characters – books you don’t want to end they’re so well! (in no particular order)
* The Likeness by Tana French
* Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
* The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni
* In the Woods by Tana French
* Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen
* One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz
* The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins
* The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman
While these are only a few of my favorites, I hope you see how important it is to do as King says, read a lot!
Ready for a great read with delightful characters and rich settings? Check out Mists of Garibaldi: Tales of the Supernatural today. https://amzn.com/dp/0615983375