Just finished reading an interesting article “Read Like a Writer,” in a November 2009 issue of The Writer’s Digest Guide to Creativity magazine. In it, the author, Linda Busby Parker, mentions that “a true writer is always aware and perceptive when reading. Observant writing,” she notes, “shouldn’t be overlooked. Sometimes writers feel guilty when reading instead of writing, but both are integral parts of a successful scribe’s daily life.”
Then in a sidebar, she condenses five points, "Finer Points,” which lists what a writer should look for when reading. “(1) Observe scenes. A scene is one episode in the story line. A scene can be dialogue between characters or an event that happens in one particular location. (2) Study dialogue. How does the dialogue reveal the characters’ individual personalities and move the plot forward? (3) Locate passages that establish the setting. What techniques does the author use to place the reader in a particular locale? (4) Note the conflict. How has the author made the character’s life complex? How does the writer sustain and complicate the conflict throughout the novel? (5) Chart the novel’s resolution. When does the author begin to resolve the conflicts? How does the writer make resolutions natural and satisfying to the reader?”
I did not list all the comments of the five points, but the entire article is well worth reading. Have a productive reading and writing day.
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” – E.B. White