For if you want to be a better writer, one of the best ways to improve your craft is to read a lot. Aspiring authors who cultivate good reading habits can benefit much from the books they read. People who write frequently – for work or pleasure, diary entries or blog posts, book reports or short fiction – generally want to put their best foot forward, but the English language’s quirks and minutiae can be intimidating.
As a professional wordsmith, I understand: Their’s always so much to remember, from the basics of homophone distinction (their, they’re, there), to the finer elements of syntax (subject-verb agreement! the dreadful subjunctive! ), to where to put the punctuation.
Begin with Stephen King’s amazing lines. It is genuinely as straightforward as it appears. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s see how reading can help you write better.
Writing is a skill and it is hard to teach. Having said that, there are ways and means to become a better writer. Follow the article to the last line and you will definitely hone your skill as a good writer.
Follow the Basics:
The thumb rule or the most fundamental element to become a better writer is to,
Read, Read Read and Read.
Write, Write, Write and Write.
Reading and writing are inseparable, they are two sides of the same coin. Both go together side by side.
The better writers have an inclination to be exceptional readers, and better readers will produce exceptional writing.
A well-read author features a higher vocabulary .A good writer can acknowledge the nuances of language, and determine between trash and quality writing.
How Reading helps to write better
Reading undoubtedly improves writing ability. Continuous reading is the best and proven method to improve writing skills. Reading improves vocabulary and synchronic linguistics information that is essential to creative writing in the best possible manner.
Every author has a distinctive style of writing. While reading a variety of writers belonging to different genres, it helps us to get us exposed to different writing styles ,and goes a great way to boost writing confidence.
Reading is the best exercise for better writing. As you need to exercise physically to tone up your muscles and build up those six pack abs or those dream biceps, similarly you have to put yourself in the habit of reading. Read any stuff that you like, it could be fiction by Dan Brown or by John Grisham, magazines like Time or Vogue, or Daily Newspapers.
Reading inspires us to a large extent. A good read or a bad read both motivates us to improve. You cannot gather a Degree “ Bestselling Writer” from a graduate college or a university, nor by memorising by heart all the grammar rules that your teacher might have taught you in your primary school.
To become a confident reader follow the following steps:
- Read your favourite topics, your cherished Authors, Subject matter that you find exciting and inspiring stories and Articles.
- Keep aside or remove boring books from your shelves without remorse.
- Try new genres that you haven’t read. Do not be shy of trying out new areas of read. Be inquisitive and broaden your scope.
- Be proud of the books you’ve read. Share the contents with your peers. Review and discuss.
- Find yourself a place where you are comfortable and without any disturbances. Always select a “happy place” for reading. The area should be clutter free, silent and bright.
- Don’t aim or drive for a goal. Keep your mind free while reading . Just keep on reading.
- Do not try to read too fast, enjoy your read to its fullest.
- Do not try to read everything at the same time. It will not serve the purpose. Read one book at a time.
Writing is as important as reading. You need to write a lot in order to write better and better. While writing we think, and this ability to think better eventually helps us to write better.
Enhance your Vocabulay
Writing enhances vocabulary and helps to recognise language structures better. The more you write, the more formidable your writing becomes.
Remember those old junior school days. Writing an essay was so difficult a task. We used to tear out notebook pages until we could write the essay to our own satisfaction. Practice makes one perfect. The more you write the better you create.
A good film producer always watches films produced by others. A good musician will always keep listening to music composed by another composure. Similarly, a good writer has to keep on reading to improve upon his own writing.
Unlike reading or talking when you are writing you look for more comprehensive, eloquent, expressive and much more sophisticated words to describe your thoughts and ideas that you have in mind. This enables you to build a structure that helps in the formation of better sentences, thus expressing and communicating complex ideas in a much more prominent way.
It is impossible to become a better writer without experiencing the good work that has been there before us. We can experience this good work and take huge benefits through both reading and writing. Try to reproduce the same thing that you have read in a better way. Initially, you will get disappointed and throw away the draft in the bin but eventually, this process will help you to be a better writer.
A good way, which I have witnessed with many good writers is that they follow a pattern, while being absorbed in their book, they take notes on the material, and when they finish a chapter, they take out a sheet of white paper and scribble a one-page description of what they had just read. Then they stow the paper away in a different folder. This is how many budding writers deepen their understanding while still allowing them to refer to the summaries in the future as well.
To become a confident writer follow the following steps:
- Examine the language style and writing approach of the book. Try to follow the writing skills of the writer and analyse how it works.
- Consider and study meticulously the structure. Find out whether it is linear, pyramidic or random. What format tricks does a writer use while conveying his story?
- Watch your own reaction to a story you have just read. Do you find it interesting and intriguing? Or, is it mundane or stale? Try to understand how you feel and why you feel so?
- Try and find out the difference in the writing styles of various authors. Identify the tone in each case. Examine how the same topic is written differently by different writers.
- Scrutinize and inspect sentences. How does the author write? Is the language simple and easy to comprehend? Are sentences too long or otherwise? Is it too complex to understand?
- Don’t hesitate to write on a subject that you have never tried before. This will open the door for constructive writing and better creativity.
- Don’t be shy to follow or copy the writing style or habits of your ideal writer. You will develop new techniques by following high ranked writers.
A quote from William Faulkner illustrates the concept of good writing.
Finally, to bring the curtain down, I would reiterate once again that the reading and writing goes side by side and is inseparable. In order to become a good writer read as much as you can without any restriction and limitations whatsoever, and practice the habit of writing what you have just read. Following all the tips shared above will certainly help you to become a better writer.