Reading Like a Writer

Before we get to our game day and put the words down on the page, we should really get an understanding of the game, see others play and start to understand what works and most importantly, WHY they work so we can do them ourselves without copying. It is important when you read to understand what is happening to you while you read.


Do certain things make you flip the pages faster? Are there single moments you’ve been anticipating the whole book and when they finally come it’s like fresh cookies out of the oven melting in your mouth, only for you to gobble up the whole batch and suddenly lament that the book is done, and you have to wait for your favorite author to whip up another batch? Are there things that get your heart pounding? Your eyes effortlessly skim over the words?


Or sometimes, it’s far easier to feel and step back to think about; what makes your reading snag? What makes you put down the book and say, ‘okay it’s time for bed’?


Often it isn’t even the passage you’ve just read. Is it the setup or the way it something is phrased? Analytical Reading can be that simple. Ask yourself questions as you read, seek to understand not just the story, but the gears turning under the sheet metal. Because it’s damn complex once you peel away the surface.


As you write, you are going to get feedback, or you are going to strive to improve certain areas. Those can be focuses for when you read. Asking yourself why the heck do you find yourself rooting for this character? When you step back, is he really just a psychopathic murderer? Do people think your righteous paladin is an asshole?


The answer there is a whole rabbit hole of ‘likability’ and a fairly important tool I’ll talk about later. The art of writing is putting your thoughts into words that will then be reflected thousands of times by people with all different views giving them a slightly different view of the reflection. Understanding the output is a wonderful way to start to glean a better understanding of the input.




Read some more.

Then step back and think about why certain things worked. It’s a skill I use to this day, and it is something that will help you use and understand every tool that I mention.

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