A Texas rooster at my friend's house.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine gifted me with a reader's journal. I love it because for each book you read, it's got a place for the title, author, publisher, genre, date read, and comments. I am amazed at how many books I've read already. Had I not been keeping record, I would have thought I never read that much.
What's also interesting is going back and reading the remarks/comments I made about each book I read at that time. Comments like words flowed beautifully, dialogue believable or witty, great metaphors, descriptive details, setting very visual, character well developed, story has spirit, and so on. Then I also have other comments like this book was boring, couldn't get through the first chapter, too much narrative, not enough dialogue, too many names to remember, and so on. You get the picture.
My point here is that by reading like a writer, you get a feel for other writers' style of writing. You don't want to copy their style, of course, but you do want to see what works and what doesn't for you. The more you write, the more you're developing your own unique style. And that's what it's all about.
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