Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Does reading make you a better writer?

On Friday night my boyfriend was out so I sat down for a serious writing session. I'd already written about 2,000 during the day, words I was fairly happy with but knew I could improve when I got down to editing them.

I took a break to eat, watch some TV and put the washing on. I then sat down and read some of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. It's a wonderfully atmospheric book and I was very on edge by the time I'd decided to stop reading and do a bit more writing.

The words that then flowed were so different and so much better than anything I'd written in a long time. I was writing a scary scene and managed to freak myself out enough that I didn't dare to move from the sofa, under a blanket, until 2am when my other half got home.

I'm pretty impressed that my writing made me jumpy (even in combination with a scary book).

Last year I rarely read anything and so far this year I've read loads. It's definitely made me a better writer, I'm seeing different ways to phrase things, delving deeper into language and structure.

Are you big readers? Do you find certain books help to improve the way in which you write?

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