Let’s READ again (like we did last summer!)

I am going to take it upon myself to give out some more writing tips which you can use, discard, or argue with me about. I feel compelled to do this because there is just an overload of trash available now since ebook publishing has become so easy for the untalented.

First, if you are not (and have not always been) a voracious reader of books please take up some other “hobby” because if you are not a well-read reader, you won’t be a good writer. As my hero Jack Stevens says, “You can ask anybody.” There are a couple of reasons why this is true and I can use some analogies to prove my point. You wouldn’t attempt to be a lumberjack if you had never read any books on outdoor work, would you? You wouldn’t decide to perform brain surgery if you had not read and practiced many examples of that “art” would you?

If that is true, then why do you think you can write a good fiction novel if you have not read lots and I meant LOTS of good fiction? So if you are not a full time reader, even while you are writing, you are not a qualified author and please don’t submit your trash for some sucker to buy.

There is a second reason for laying the foundation of tons of reading before attempting to write. Some famous author whose name escapes me said something like, “Every writer steals from other writers, just make sure you steal from the best.” (I wish I had said that, but then, I also wish I was famous, but what the hell….)

Now, that author did not mean for you to be a plagiarist like Vice President Joe Biden who steals whole speeches from well known people. Another example, if you need one, of how stupid Joe Biden is – but you voted for him so you got him.

What happens is that by reading very good writers you pick up ideas of how to express something that may have caused you to stumble and halt your prose. You don’t “copy” verbatim from another author. That is unethical, not to mention also unlawful. And it is just plain cheating. But one reason I read so many good authors is that it inspires me. I think I can explain it in sports terms. I used to play golf. A lot. And when I played with golfers who were better than I was, I always played better. I think you can ask any sports person about that and they will agree that playing with better opponents makes them play “at the top of their game” whatever that may be. Well then, if you read good authors you cannot help but improve your writing. You may never become as good as the best ones, but you WILL become better. Give it a try. Get off the keyboard, as I am going to do now – and start reading.  You can write that best-seller tomorrow.

About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on Amazon.com, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on http://johnbeckmanbooks.com and available from Amazon.com. . .
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s