With the occasional exception, I have spoken to, notable only for their oddity, all writers are prolific readers. Indeed the notable exceptions were a couple of people who have told me they want to be writers while openly admitting they don’t read a lot. To whom my advice has always been, start reading more.
This is not because we are all driven to be derivative, or indeed have any desire to plagiarise, (though there are plenty of hacks out there who do, as witnessed by the amount of erotic Fifty Shades-esque fiction that flooded the market the moment a niche was found. Much of which was better than the original)
Reading is beyond enjoyable in of itself, a great way to fill your writing toolkit with new ideas and ways of communicating. Sometimes just by reading something which strikes you as inherently the wrong way to write a story. “I would not have written that, but the idea is interesting, perhaps if the stories told from that other characters perspective…”
You also get a steady stream of new words to play with. New idea’s to throw around. New perspectives to draw upon. And importantly new knowledge. Which is why none fiction is just as important, brewsters directory of phrase and fable, for example, is one of the finest reference books in the world for strange and exciting ideas.
With all this in mind, I decide to set myself a challenge most years, instead of a new years resolution. Generally
to read something different from my normal fodder, or to find out all I can on a particular subject.
Like all new years resolutions some work out better than others, and its bets to set a goal that other people can prod you about if you backslide.
This year I received the complete fiction works H. P Lovecraft as a present. So this is my aim for the year, to read all Lovecraft’s fiction, and to keep myself in check I will blog a review of each story, novella and novel in the set over the course of the year. Awarding tentacles out of six for each.
I will also try and get hold of some of his many non-fiction works as well. His non-fiction essays etc dwarf his fiction output but are harder to get hold of.
This will be aside from the other blog posts which will be their regular sporadic and mildly eclectic mix.
All that aside, A Happy New year to all, may the stars not be quite right throughout 2017, as the last thing we need with Trump in the White House if a sudden incursion of old gods. It quite possibly going to bad enough without Azeroth showing up… Or perhaps Natholoptep was behind the Trump election machine … now that would explain much
|Whispers in the darkness|