Monday, March 29, 2010

Do you read what you write?

One of my favorite genres, my curl up on the couch on a rainy day and exit the world genre, is fantasy. But I find it incredibly hard to write. Writing a logical real-world scene is hard enough, I can't create a whole new world and magical system. It makes my head hurt. So even though I've fought it, over the course of the year my writing has become more and more realistically-based.

And I've struggled to determine exactly what type of books I want to write.

Last December I made a list of my five favorite books of the year. I found it to be such an interesting exercise, especially as I didn't list a single fantasy. Along with two young adult novels, I included a middle grade novel and two ADULT novels. All were character-based coming of age stories. I'm still wondering if that list provides a clue to the type of books I want to write.

What about you? Do you read what you write? Do you read anything you could never write?


  1. The more I write for kids, the more tedious and over-written I find most adult books, especially fiction. But while I do love reading all kinds of children's literature, I develop some of my best ideas when I'm reading adult nonfiction. I say read whatever is the most interesting at the moment, no matter the genre or target audience -- all the words, imagines, and facts go in the hopper to be melted down and recreated in your own works.

  2. Good question! I love sci-fi and fantasy, but I'm also happy to read a good realistic novel once in a while. What's funny is that I CANNOT write realistic fiction; every time I try, it turns into fantasy. As for age group, I read a lot of YA and MG, but most of what I write is MG. I'm not sure what any of this means, but it's interesting to think about. :-)

  3. Thanks for stopping by, M.G. I'm nodding with your description of many adult books. Children's writing just has to be so tight. People who don't read kids' books have no idea what they're missing! That's really interesting about gathering ideas from non-fiction. I'm not a big non-fiction reader, but I can completely see that.

    Thanks, Anna, glad you find it interesting to think about, too! How funny that you can't write realistic fiction I do sometimes wonder if, twenty years down the road when I'm a well-published author (what a dream!), I might suddenly find myself able to write fantasy. Maybe you'll someday end up with a fantasy that begs to be realistic?

  4. I read practically every genre.

    My work is realistic, but I'm in awe of fantasy, horror, and sci-fi writers and the worlds they build.

  5. I must say, I read practically every genre too, but some I definitely gravitate to more than others. Awe is a good word for how I feel about fantasy authors... though maybe awe is a good word for how I feel about most good authors, regardless of genre!


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