The Muses: Part IV

This is part IV in a series looking at what inspires my writing.

A dreamy James Dean in the film East of Eden

4. The Great American Novel *trumpet fanfare*

It’s true when they say that in order to write well you have to read.

I read Steinbeck for the entire five months it took me to write my first book. There was The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and some other titles that are less well-known. Although my subject matter wasn’t the same, just reading Steinbeck’s style, how he developed characters, the way he created and resolved conflict, taught me so much and kept me inspired.

Of course everyone has their own style and taste. I’m weird and like to read Theodore Dreiser and Thomas Hardy and such.

Okay, okay, I’ll admit I was obsessed with Twilight for a few months (not that there’s anything wrong with that). And I’m a sucker for The Hunger Games and anything by Gregory Maguire.

But one of the most important things you can do for your writing is to read your genre. If you’re writing YA, then you should probably read a whole lot of YA books. If you want to write steampunk but you’ve never read any of it—well, you catch my drift.

Image from World Film Awards

  1. Alex

    April 6th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I don’t think I want to catch a drift of steampunk. It sounds stinky.

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