Does what you Read impact what you Write?

Isn’t he adorable?

I’m working on the first draft of a trilogy that I started with NaNoWriMo and hope to have tapped (vomited) into the laptop by the end of April. Six months to crank out 3 drafts is quick, yes, butย when I say “first draft,” I mean it. Thus far, my drafts are ugly, warty little toads that will require months at the gym and endless hours of cosmetic surgery to transform into princes.

For me, writing a first draft is completely different than later drafts and far more stressful. It’s the foundation of the story on which the cozy cottage, haunted mansion, or crystal palace is built. Everything that follows depends on it. A poor foundation causes all kinds of problems and takes a ton of work and time to correct, especially when there’s a sagging house perched on top of it full of cracks, holes, and leaks.

To use another metaphor, it’s the skeleton that later drafts will flesh out with organs, bones, and complex systems, all integrated and functioning in harmony. If my first draft has the skeleton of a gerbil, I’m going to have a tough time making my end product look like rhinoceros.

During a first draft, the plot and conflicts take shape, the characters come to life and assert themselves, and for many of us, our imaginary worlds become more solid. Another aspect that I experience vividly is the development of the book’s “tone.” Yes, finally, getting to the point of this post.

I can’t read a humorous book while writing the first draft of a dark and twisted story full of evil souls. Why not? Because inevitably, some character will get snarky and sarcastic and start cracking jokes.

Likewise, if I’m writing something lighthearted, I’d better not be reading a book that gives me the creeps, has me blubbering over the plight of refugees, or is so long-winded I fall into a reading-coma (Faulkner, for example).

Maybe I’m overly sensitive, but I notice that my writing reflects my mood as well as the place where my imagination is spending its off hours. If I want to write dark, I had better be reading dark. While writing The Bone Wall, I read Joe Abercrombe and Mark Lawrence, to name a couple favorites.

While writing The Sorcerer’s Garden, a lighter book than I usually attempt, I read Scott Lynch who crafted some very witty characters in his Gentleman Bastards series.

The same choice applies to genre. While writing a fantasy first draft, I read fantasy – almost always the work of respected, successful authors that I’d stalk if I met them in person. Since I’m too busy writing, I just stalk their books. I’m convinced that what we read while writing our stories can inspire and teach us how to write them better. Who ever said that writers don’t need to be readers too?

What do you read while working on a first draft? Do you notice an impact on your writing?

 

145 thoughts on “Does what you Read impact what you Write?

  1. […] How Reading Impacts Writing | D. Wallace Peach […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree, Diana, about whatever I’m reading affecting how I write. I have a tendency to read the same sorts of stories as what I like to write, but sometimes something different sneaks in. I never really thought about it before.

    I presume you are warmer than -25; enjoy your non-polar-vortex weather! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    • Same with me, Julie. The “sneakers” are usually indie books from bloggers I know, and I like the variety (always something to enjoy and learn from). Other than that, I mostly read fantasies from authors that I stalk. ๐Ÿ™‚ We are a lot warmer than -25! I’ve been watching the news. You poor souls. Stay warm and take extra extra precautions if you need to venture out. That kind of cold can be deadly. I hope it’s over soon. โค

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  3. Jennie says:

    Excellent post, Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. inesephoto says:

    Cannot wait, Diana! By the way, I love the warty creatures, and hope the gym won’t do them any harm ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Interesting post, Diana! I think itโ€™s important what you read while writing a first draft. When going back to subsequent drafts and to the editing and polishing, though, I prefer to read anything well written from a list of genres. Great prose and style in many genres inspires me to write better.

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  6. Steven Baird says:

    A great post, Diana. Mark me down as someone who can’t read too deeply while writing. But I do read a lot of news (uggg) due to the nature of what I’m working on, looking for the compassion under the layers of rot. I guess that’s the stuff that interests me the most right now.

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  7. Sarah says:

    Really love the analogies you’ve used for your first drafts, Diana! A toad that needs months in the gym and a gerbil turning into a rhinoceros – priceless images that are now embedded in my brain! ๐Ÿ˜„
    And I do think that our reading habits have an impact on what we create, even if it might only be subconsciously. There’s no way I can paint a happy gerbil for instance when reading about a world going to pieces for instance.
    On the other hand I have experienced when working with clay that even if I’m in a foul mood some of my creations tend to look rather sweet which always comes as a surprise. So maybe what we read and feel is not always reflected by what we do but can also trigger the exact opposite. A conundrum of sorts. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a great comment, Sarah, about how sometimes the gloomy inputs around us will trigger the opposite. I love that! The poem I wrote about “Beauty” tried to get at that point – that despite all the troubles in the world, there are still people creating beauty, sweetness, art, wonder, kindness…. Keep on creating whatever inspires you, and thanks for the wonderful comment. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

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  8. Widdershins says:

    I’ve learned that I can’t read anything fiction-y while I’m doing the first draft. All too often I end up recreating scenes of what I’ve read, which can be amusing, but wastes too much ‘ink’. ๐Ÿ˜€ The editing and planning stages are fine, just not when the creative juices are flowing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re not the only one who’s shared that they can’t read while writing because it interferes with the story. I’m that way with music – it has too strong an influence. Part of what’s so fun about chatting with other authors is discovering how different we all are and how we settle into what works for us individually. Thanks for stopping by to read and share your experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. What a great question and I definitely feel like there’s a correlation there. For me, it’s all about mood, because if I read anything by Thomas Hardy, it’s so depressing that I get a total mental block when trying to write satire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I imagine that comedic writers really need to immerse themselves in humor to write humor – the same way that live comedians get each other going and feed off each other’s wit. I love Hardy, but it would certainly set up my mood for some pretty sad writing. Not a good thing if I’m writing a battle scene! Thanks for stopping by, Marietta. Happy Writing!

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  10. acflory says:

    Thrilled that you’re working on a new trilogy and that it’s coming along so quickly. -hugs-

    In answer to your question though, yes and no?

    I admit that what I read for pleasure does influence my writing, but more in terms of ‘style’ than content. To counteract that tendency, I always write to music, and it’s the /music/ that ends up setting the tone for the story.

    That said, I can spend weeks searching for just the right kind of music. It’s always a case of ‘I’ll know it when I hear it’. I guess my subconscious knows what I need even if my conscious brain doesn’t.

    As you can probably tell, I’ve given up trying to write quickly. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  11. Ocean Bream says:

    I love this post, Diana. You hit on a nuance of writing that is oft thought about but not spoken aloud. I too find that what I read HUGELY impacts my writing. Embarrassingly so, at times, when I look back at the writings of my younger self, and they distinctly echo Charles Dickens or Tolkien. By echo I of course mean ‘plagiarise the tone and some of the dialogue’ lol! This was very helpful to read, it shows you have to actively seek books of a similar genre and tone to the one you’re writing, and that reading is so very important! Not to be judgemental, but to also be entirely so, I often marvel at the atrocity of certain books written by Youtubers, and I realise that a lot of them are not readers, which is why their books are so crappy!

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  12. C.E.Robinson says:

    Diana, a great post to make me think! Iโ€™ve identified my book as historical fiction. Iโ€™m reading historical fiction books, and How To articles. It keeps me grounded & moving forward. The balance of research and actual writing is a bit off though. I get into the historical details too much! All in the rationalization that whateverโ€™s in the story must be totally accurate. Reality, maybe readers will scan & skip what I think is so interesting! Happy weekend. Happy writing! ๐Ÿ“š๐ŸŽถ Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t envy your challenge, Christine. Historical fiction, to me, seems like one of the harder genres to write because of the research, and the need to be accurate in the big picture as well as the details. Then after doing all that research, it’s still a story and has to have all the writing craftiness that keeps the plot moving and the reader engaged. Kudos to you! I imagine that beta readers are super helpful in identifying when the details bog down the story (something that happens with fantasy too, btw, when describing our made-up worlds, etc. ). Thanks for the visit and Happy Writing!

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      • C.E.Robinson says:

        Thanks, Diana. I’m not at the beta reader point yet. But, I chose an editor and will send the first draft for a diagnostic reading, then move on to a 50-page batch stage for editing. This editor contributes to a website and offers free critiques, and he edited a historical fiction book.I follow the website and bought the book, and like his editing style. I’m moving forward! ๐Ÿ“š

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  13. What I read affects everything in my life: my dreams, my mood, my writing, my thinking. Thus, I do better if I don’t read anything ‘heavy’ while I’m in the midst of writing a first draft. I totally agree with what you’re saying.
    And on two off topics, I LOVE your toad. When I was a child, I searched for toads and they seemed to not mind me staring at them in fascination for long minutes.
    Second, my guy is halfway through reading your book SUNWIELDER (a xmas gift from me) and he is absolutely loving it. I’ll bring it with me when I time warp next month into a warm reading spot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yours is the third comment about reading having too much influence or being too distracting while writing. That makes sense to me, Pam. And I’m glad you like my toad, though he will, hopefully, be a little less toady come 2020. (That seems so far away!) And finally… Yippee! I’m so happy to hear that your guy is enjoying Sunwielder. My guy still thinks it’s my best book. Tell him “thank you!” Have a great weekend and coming time warp!

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  14. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this post from the Myths of the Mirror blog that asks: Does what you Read impact what you Write?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Staci Troilo says:

    I agree. My mood affects how I write, and what I read affects my mood. And I love your analogies and examples.

    I disagree about Faulkner inducing reading-comas, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha ha. I was waiting for someone to challenge me on Faulkner. Yay! I had to read him in high school and just wasn’t mature enough for the style. I never forgot that suffering. Lol. I should give him a try now. Thanks for the visit, Staci, and I’m glad you can relate to my thoughts. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, fascinating insights into your reading and I’m not surprised your reading matches the mood/genre of your books. There is a lot of sense in this! What I have never understood is why writers are told not to read! That is counterintuitive … there is always something/lots to learn from others, either what is great or what is best avoided! Congratulations on three drafts in six months … brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t heard the advice not to read, Annika. Though I can understand that some writers might feel too influenced by what they’re reading (while writing). That “interference” could be distracting. But that’s part of the fun of chatting with other writers – we’re all different, and over time, we discover the styles and methods that work for us. And I’m not there yet… maybe 7 months?? Ha ha. Happy Writing, my friend. โค

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  17. I’ve never really thought about what writers read during the times they are also writing. Since I have a lot of drafts of books, but nothing published, I mostly just read and read, hoping to polish my skills by seeing how others do it. But during the times I was drafting my stowed away stories, I didn’t read, I only wrote. Maybe that was the problem!

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    • We’re all different so I would never characterize any method as a problem. One of the other commenters said they don’t read while writing because they don’t want to feel “influenced.” I do think that immersing ourselves into the “mood” of our story is helpful however we do it (music, books, movies, location even!) but that’s because it works for me. Reading and more reading is a wonderful way to pay attention to craft, learn what works, and how it works, particularly in your genre. I hope you take one of those stories out when the time feels right. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the visit and Happy Reading… and writing!

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  18. What I read certainly does impact what Iโ€™m writing, to some extent. But for some reason, MUSIC is my main influencer. If Iโ€™m working on a draft and Iโ€™m driving around in my car and a song comes on thatโ€™s moody and dark, you can bet my next few chapters will be just so. In fact, my entire WIP and series are based on a genre of music I was listening to around the same time the idea for the story came to me.

    Television to some extent does the same. Mostly, itโ€™s characters in tv shows that have characteristics I love and want my own characters to emulate. This is true in books Iโ€™m reading too. Basically, Iโ€™m a constant sponge, always absorbing cool stuff I see and inevitably letting some of it seep into my works.

    Of course, it can also be harnessed, this absorption. If Iโ€™m a bit blocked with a scene or a character, I will find a song or watch or read something specific to help motivate my brain a bit, eg, Iโ€™m writing a novella at the moment where the brother relationship is a huge deal, so Iโ€™m paying particular attention to the brothers in TVs Supernatural, and Iโ€™ll probably pop open one of my all time favourite book series and have a quick glance at the brothers in that series.

    Influenced by or motivated by… its all a matter of perception ๐Ÿ˜

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    • Great comment, Jess. I was going to use the sponge analogy in the post but the reverse (squeezing out the story) sent me into bathroom humor giggles! It’s perfect, though. And you have a great hint here at a way to address writer’s block too! A mixed media immersion into the topic that seems stuck. I used to write to music and stopped because it was influencing me too much, if that makes sense. TV should be obvious, but I didn’t think about that. A great way to study all kinds of plot and character dynamics. I’ll have to pay more attention – though the hubby controls the remote and I can only take so many superheroes. Ha ha. Thanks for the visit!

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  19. I’ve been thinking about this question all day. What I read does impact what I write, sometimes in a subconscious way. Other times in a “Ooo! Great description! I want to write a description that totally zings like that.” sort of way.” Or “I want to write a scene that tugs the emotions like this and wallops my readers in the feels.”

    Reading always makes me want to write. No matter what I’m reading. It makes me want to write and to write better.

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  20. Dawn D says:

    Ha! I love this post. Itโ€™s especially interesting to me because I know Iโ€™ll be in that place soon.
    Now, I couldnโ€™t answer your question though: I have never written a first draft in my life, so… itโ€™ll be interesting when it comes to that! Probably during the summer…
    ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    • Yay! I hope you enjoy it. And though not everyone writes the same way, I recommend reading books that you love while you write. And don’t worry about the toad either. They’re all toads in the beginning. That’s why we do drafts! Happy Writing, Dawn. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Dawn D says:

        Thank you!
        One of the things I learnt watching my kids go through great English programs was to let the words flow.
        First and foremost, let the words flow. THEN edit.
        With the computer, I do some editing as I type, but Iโ€™m sure once I start writing something longer than a few thousand words, Iโ€™ll be glad I heard that advice.
        ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  21. arlene says:

    Are you influenced by the works of other authors too? Just curious Diana ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, Arlene. If I read a great action scene, for example, I’ll study how the author did it, where they focused, how much detail, how much time in the character’s head. I like Brandon Sanderson’s structured magic systems, so I try to give my magic systems structure, even though they’re different. And I do tend to write the kind of stories I like to read, so in that way, I’m definitely influenced. Hope that answers your question. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the visit!

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  22. I canโ€™t imagine what it is like to go back to the first draft of a novel and flesh it out two or more times! That must be the grueling part of the job. But perhaps when it is your โ€˜babyโ€™ you donโ€™t mind cleaning up a few messes, right? I read a lot of Erma Bombeck before I entered my first Erma Bombeck Writerโ€™s Workshop contest. I know her writing influenced my writing big time as I made the final round of the contest. The next time I entered I had not immersed myself in her writing and got a terrible comment from the judge – something like, โ€˜what is your point?โ€™ So I didnโ€™t do so well. I read all sorts of genres and learn from them all but reading humor does help me hone my humor writing skills.

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  23. C.J. Stuart says:

    I hadn’t fully considered this but u make some interesting points. I do joke around with my writing partner that a first draft is in its underwear.

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    • I like that CJ. I guess it depends on how much prep work was done before writing. If world building, character bios, and a solid plot were done in advance of beginning page 1, the story might be romping around in its skivvies from the start. Lol.

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  24. Well, let the puking begin. We are both deep into wriitng mode. I am trying to get my mansucript out of first draft version.

    Best of luck. Honestly, that time table seems harsh.

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  25. Silent Hour says:

    I usually find one or two pieces of music that set the mood, and replay them while writing a story or poem. As for reading, I agree that reading the same genre can be helpful.

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  26. For me, reading essential to successful writing! Currently working on my first poetry collection and have been reading poetry, writing craft and formatting books in addition to book club reads. While writing children’s books or historical fiction, I tend to focus on those genres. What I read definitely impacts what I write. ๐Ÿ™‚ All that you accomplish as a writer continues to amaze me, Diana!

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  27. Reading is so good for helping us to write better. It’s not the ideas for scenes we need from other books. That would be a No-No anyway, but what we can pick up from reading is often something that we already know but needed to have demonstrated. For example, having sub-plots going in the background of the main plot is something I know about but sometimes forget to think about doing. Taking each sentence and checking it for weak verbs might be something I’m reminded to do after reading a book that uses good, strong verbs. Yes, definitely, reading is a good influence to help with our writing.

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  28. Himani Kaushik says:

    Yes! you said right D.wallace Peach, this happens with me most of the times when I read something philosophical I go into the zone and if I am writing something that moment it too turns out be philosophical. And I even feel what we watch is what we write also goes up correct because that also affects what mood I am into. You picked the right point… I liked your post…

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    • You captured exactly what I was trying to say, Himani. And yes, what we watch is part of the total picture too. For me, US political new on television will drive me to write horrible heartless villains. Lol. Thanks for the visit and Happy Writing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  29. I find my mood guides my writing AND my reading. I usually read a couple of different genres at once, same with writing so that I can turn to whichever one suits the day ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Another author made a similar comment and I envy the flexibility, Jacquie. I’m more the golden retriever with an eye on the ball type of writer. I need a single focus. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I also love how we’re all different. It’s why I never get bored of chatting with other writers. Happy Reading and Writing!

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  30. Your post is most timely and interesting to me even though I don’t write.
    Of late I have been listening to Audible books while painting. It’s the same thing – thoughtful, informational or humorous, the work goes the same way. It’s been a little bit of an experiment for me, just to see what happens.

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  31. I dig this post, for it is true! In general I prefer reading mysteries even though I write fantasy. If I over-saturate myself in one genre with movies, readings, and writing I just turn all blech about it, and I hate feeling blech about writing.

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  32. Mick Canning says:

    It’s bound to, Diana. We write for ourselves, and we write what we know. So what we write will inevitably reflect us to a greater or lesser degree, and include something of what we read, even if it’s only our reactions to it.

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  33. Jina Bazzar says:

    I never thought about the first draft as a foundation, but it makes sense. Like you my mood affects my writing, but my reading seldom does – unless that story left a big impression, then it does affect. Otherwise what i read may or not spark an idea for me to add to my story but nothin more.

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  34. Rageshree says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I have made a rough plan… I’ll be working on the first draft after my final exams and this is gonna helpโค๏ธ And also, you’re very right! The genre of books you read and your personal experiences both majorly affect the way you write…

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  35. Teri Polen says:

    I don’t really notice a difference, but I usually have a playlist for the book I’m working on that puts me in the right frame of mind. Your time frame for drafting is inspirational, Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I used to write to music too, Teri. I don’t know why I stopped, but now I need silence. Kind of miss the playlist. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m doing mini-self-imposed NaNos every other month, which helps with production. Plus I write full time and don’t have kids at home! I admire anyone who works, has kids, and can write a single paragraph. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  36. Thought provoking, Diana. What I write influences what I read rather than the other way around. When I am writing dark I like to read dark so that I can get inspiration. I read poetry when I want to write Sir Choc and also children’s books.

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  37. Having just submitted my line/copy edits back to my editor, I’m also working on a first draft. During this stage, I have to read in the genre I write in or my brain gets all muddled. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  38. To write my first middle grade novel, I took a break from reading urban fantasy to read a few middle grade and chapter books. I knew I needed to get the pacing/tone/etc into my head — at least long enough to write get into the flesh of the story and set a tone for the novel.

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    • That’s exactly what I’m talking about, Morgan, and you said it in one paragraph too. It makes sense to me, and the approach works for me, but each of us finds our own way through – part of the fascination and fun. Thanks for the visit and Happy Writing!

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  39. Vashti Q says:

    Hi Diana. I am also writing the first draft of the third book in my Fantasy Angels Series. Youโ€™re so right about the first draft being the foundation for the story. I loved your analogies. I donโ€™t want to end up with a gerbil. Ha, ha. I also agree that we have to choose wisely what we read while writing our first drafts. Thank you for this clever and informative post.๐Ÿ˜Š

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  40. This is so timely, Sally. I will finish Book 2 of my trilogy soon and be starting on a completely undrafted Book 3. It is stressing me! I like how you describe your first draft. I can do that–warts, blemishes, and occasional magic.

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Jacqui. I’m glad someone agrees with me that first drafts are stressful! Ha ha. It’s part of the reason why I really try to pound them out (and use an outline, even though it changes). I know you’ll do fine – just know that I feel your stress! Happy Writing!

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  41. dgkaye says:

    Makes sense Diana. I don’t think I have that problem as I read mostly nonfiction and the fiction books I read are mostly based on real life drama so I don’t have any conflict reading but I certainly get your point.
    Just a quick drop by from sunny Mexico. โค

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  42. Jordy says:

    Thank you for your insight Diana! It is helpful for me as a writer who is just now starting on writing my first novel. Am just now building out the world (s).

    I read a variety of genres, research and mostly anything that has a intuitive ring to it. I find that reading different genres sparks different areas and keeps my thinking rounded.

    Kind of like playing the drums, so no ho hum in the meter.

    Cheers to building worlds!!๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great insight, Jordy. And we don’t want ho hum books! Ha ha. I also read a variety of other genres, just not while in the midst of a first draft. Each genre has strengths and therefore something to teach – how to create suspense or mystery, how to notch up the pace, how to create romantic tension, etc. etc. Reading is a blast in general and a great way to learn craft. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and Happy Writing!

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    • Thanks for sharing, Kim. It’s interesting to see how different authors approach their reading while writing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Reading and Writing!

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      • kimwrtr says:

        I wrote the first draft, and I am now finishing the edits for a Romantic Suspense. While writing I read Gone Girl and I’m now reading Star Flight by Phyllis A. Whitney. Since mine has a murder mystery, I think I’m good. I’d never thought of reading a different genre putting you in a certain mood or tone. Interesting. I know I can’t write two books at the same time or I’ll get the characters mixed up. And I need a little time of just reading between writing different genre books. Another series I’m working on is Paranormal Mystery. So they’re similar as both have mystery or suspense, but the Paranormal Mystery book are lighter than the Romantic Suspense.

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  43. Hashby says:

    Absolutely! I don’t believe you can be a great novelist without reading novels, in the same vein that you can’t be a great screen writer if you don’t enjoy, or at least watch, movies or be a playwright and not watch plays. Having time to read, though? Well, it’s like working out. Most people don’t have time to do that, either. If we really want to, we make time.

    As for my reading material impacting my writing? I’m sure it does! I read an amazing young adult book and am inspired to write my own. Or I read a fantasy and go off on this exciting world building phenomenon. What I usually go back to, though, is women’s fiction or literary and those are the drafts that actually go on to become second and third drafts or, hopefully, final drafts.

    I’ve done NaNoWriMo for ten years! NaNo helped me learn how to be more productive by setting a goal of how many words I needed to “vomit” each day. A rough outline is helpful. Sometimes.

    Thank you for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment and sharing your experience. Makes sense to me. I’ve been doing mini-self-imposed Nano’s to get the story down, and I do have a little toad here that’s growing into a big toad! Happy Reading and Writing and Enjoy your Creativity!

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  44. The V Pub says:

    I imagine that there are similarities in writing songs, too. Depending on what musical genre is my current muse, I’ll often drift that way in the construct of a song. It starts with acoustic playing and recording on my iphone. Then, I later add chord changes and a bridge, all while placing nonsensical words as a placeholder for future lyrics. Then, when fleshed out, I record the basic tracks (guitar, drums, and bass) and then mix down to an MP3. I’ll play that MP3 in my car driving to and from work, working out melodies and real lyrics.

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    • That makes sense, Rob. I’ll bet a lot of art is that way – connected to our state of mind and what we are exposed to. At least for that initial inspiration. Then the rest just layers on. Thanks for sharing the insight into your process. Keep creating!

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  45. What I read for pleasure doesn’t impact what I write, but what I study does. If I like the way an author describes settings, I’ll study how he/she did it, the sentence structures, the paragraph length, the personification of nature, or whatever.

    Gerbil to rhinoceros, heehee!

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Wonderful explanation of what a first draft truly is and a great picture to match. I often hear authors say they read something entirely different while writing so as not to be influenced, but for me, I get a lot out of reading the same genre as I’m writing. It helps keep me in the right frame of mind. Best of luck with your new trilogy!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m expecting this post to elicit all kinds of different approaches, Marcia. That’s why learning about other authors is so interesting to me. We’re all a little different. Thanks for the visit and Happy Writing!

      Like

  47. Mae Clair says:

    What I write doesn’t impact what I read and vice-versa but there was a time when I couldn’t read a book while I was writing. I had to do one or the other. The strange thing is, once I started publishing, I no longer had that problem. Weird.

    Now I just read whatever strikes me–and I read a lot–even while I’m writing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s so interesting to me, Mae, that you couldn’t read while writing. But I get it! I’m that way with prompts. I have to write mine before reading anyone else’s or I feel “influenced.” I can read anything during rewrites and edits, but that first draft… nope. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by and adding your experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Interesting perspective and approach Diana. I can see how reading and being around similar materials would help support your writing. I write my poetry from a feeling state and it sounds like your holding a feeling tone related to the book theme or tone. All I know is I really enjoy your writing so please keep doing what you’re doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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