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  • Dianne McCartney

All Good Writers Read


I always wince when I hear new writers claim that they never read. There is no better way to learn on your own than diving into great books. Sometimes, it might be a helpful book on the writing craft, such as James Scott Bell's Just Write. Other times, you might read a novel in your own genre, in my case, suspense. I read a lot of different things from classics like Jane Eyre to romantic comedies from authors like Penny Reid. I also read a lot of books on language and psychology.


It's important to remember that the publishing world changes every day. Keeping on point with what's selling in the market is vital for me, because I frequently judge writing contests. The advice I give competitors needs to reflect current practices.

I also think that if you expect people to buy your books, you should often reciprocate. I have friends who write in many different genres. If I don't read the book I purchase, I'll give it as a gift to someone who does.


For the past few years, I've read four or five books a week. Yes. I'm a fast reader. I also don't want much television. When you read books, you get a lot of ideas about how to write certain things and how you should never write others. Each is equally helpful.


So, this week, I dare you to pick up a type of book you've never considered before now. I'll bet you might enjoy it more than you expected.

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