Read & Why It Matters
As writers I think we all have heard “READ WHAT YOU WRITE“.
Why you might ask.
The answer is simple: To familiarize yourself with writing.
The more you read, the more you will see what works, what doesn’t, what hasn’t been tried, or a different angle to approach your chosen subject. Even something as ‘simple’ as picture books, you will begin to see patterns and recognize writing done well. I want to take a closer look with picture books:
STEPS TO BREAK DOWN:
- READ –This will take you five minutes, ten tops!
- REREAD – Slow down this time. Do you see a pattern with words? Repetition, foreshadowing, or build up.
- ARC – How does the story line flow? Are there ups and downs? By creating an arc, you will have your reader invested into the story.
- PICTURES – What is going on? Are the illustrations spot on? Doing the opposite? Letting the reader in on a clue the main character doesn’t know about? Pictures are a great part of picture books and can add to the story line.
- INFORMATION – When was the book published? Who is the Publishing House? You will want to look at the “old time favorites” to see what has lasted through time. You will also want to read newer published pieces too. This will help you stay current and not bog down with word count. Not to mention, being with the times and approaching a story the correct way.
- READ IT OUT LOUD! – Now you will not only think the story, you will hear it too. When we read to ourselves, our brain will fill in, take out, and change sentence structure. It’s doing what we have trained it to do. BUT when you read it out loud, it takes a fraction more of time to process the information. You will hear when things don’t sound right.
- TYPE IT OUT / STORYBOARD IT – As you find some really great stories, type them out or storyboard them. You will notice the flow of the story and how it all comes together at the end. This is essential when you want to know how to write. I did this a lot when I first started writing. I still do this from time to time when I notice a change or trend in writing that is being published. Yes, it does change!!!
I bet you didn’t realize picture books were so complicated? 😉
By doing the above steps repeatedly, you will familiarize yourself with your genre. You will become better acquainted with what has been published and what is currently being published. You will also see where your own writing can improve and make the changes to better it.
One last thing, I would like to recommend Carrie Charley Brown’s ReFoReMo blog. There you will learn more about #MentorText and how to use them to improve your writing.
:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about reading?
How often do you read?
Do you read for mentoring (as mentioned above) or for fun or both?
Until next time…
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