Thursday, April 5, 2018

Does Reading Motivate You to Write? by Terri Weldon

Okay, I’ll confess, I love to read. So just in case I’m looking for a good excuse to read more books by great authors I wanted your opinion. Does reading motivate you to write?

Reading books is what made me want to try and pen my first book. I’d read a book and most the time I would lose myself in the story. Occasionally I would finish a book and think of things I would have changed (especially endings).

From there I took a leap of faith and developed my very own story idea. A story you will never read! A common occurrence or so I’m told. But I’ll let you in on a little secret, I still like the premise of the story.

Today I read as much if not more than when I began writing. I read in a wide range of genres and I still immerse myself in the world the author created. However, I find myself looking at fiction with a writer’s eye as much as a reader’s eye. More and more often I pick things I’d change. Oftentimes those changes lead me totally away from the book I’m reading and place me in full author mode. Before I know it, I have another book idea.

So tell me, am I just making excuses to spend more time reading? If not, leave a comment telling me how reading motivates your muse.

A Match Made in Sheffield — Natalie Benton bounced from one foster home to another until she landed on Ellie Alexander’s doorstep. Natalie’s vagabond childhood caused her to yearn for a secure life, which led to Natalie’s five-year plan: complete her law degree, marry the perfect man, become a partner at Montgomery, Haynes, and Preston, and produce one child. Getting arrested wasn’t in Natalie’s plan. Needing a public defender wasn’t in her plan. Falling for Grady Hunter, her public defender, definitely wasn’t in her plan. Can Grady convince Natalie there is more to life than her five-year plan? Is Ellie the only one who sees a future for Natalie and Grady?

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Terri Weldon is a Lead Analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. Terri has two adorable Westies - Crosby and Nolly Grace. She is a member of ACFW and OCFW, a local chapter of ACFW. Terri is the award winning author of The Christmas Bride Wore Boots.






18 comments:

  1. Exactly, Terri! As an aspiring author, I find myself analyzing the books I read. What drew me in to the story world? What would I have written differently? As a writer, my love of reading has increased. I’m intrigued by word craft and the ideas new floating in my head. Thanks for your post!

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    1. I’m so sorry to be late responding. My day job kept me swamped today!

      Sherida - you said it far more eloquently than I could ever have. I’m so thankful for your great response.

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    2. Isn’t it fun to have a great reason to read?

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  2. Hi Terri! Every book I read finds me putting the characters in a world I’ve created or “rewriting” the ending, in a recent book I even wrote a new hero for the heroine in the story! Blessings!

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    1. Oh, I’m glad to see other people do the same things as me! Isnt it fun to let your imagination run wild?

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  3. Terri, so many responses tumbled through my head as I read your post...and now they're tumbling out here in no particular order. :) When I was still dreaming of writing a book some day, my goal used to be to write a book at least as good as the worst published book I'd read. :) (We've all read at least one book and wondered how it made it through traditional publishing, right?--Or am I being too honest?) :) Like Sherida, I read to improve my craft as well. Right now I'm trying to improve my use of setting details, so I pay particular attention to how other authors can mention something like a stain on a table cloth and somehow that stain adds to the story. How a book makes me feel inspires me to write, too. When I read a sentence or a scene or a book that evokes a significant emotional response from me, I immediately think, "I want to write something that does this to a reader." I've always been a reader, but since I published, my reading has quadrupled. I want to see what other authors are writing, what readers are enjoying and why, and give myself goals to aim for as I learn from others.

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    1. Yes, Karen! To be able to craft words eliciting emotional responses is a wonderous goal. How do authors do that? We’ll keep reading and studying those stories. (I’ve heard your novel is one such book. I’ll be reading it soon.)

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    2. Karen, you aren’t being too honest. I think that’s why gives many of us the courage to write, thinking I could do that good. Okay, now I’m the one being too honest. lol

      You gals are providing great responses. Your statement about the stain motivated me! Can I pick something seemingly small and evoke a response from a reader?

      I definitely want to craft those types of books.

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    3. Sherida, thanks for the heads up about Karen’s book. I need to read it!

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  4. I consider reading as “research” for my writing. It gives me an excuse to pursue an activity I love. Often when I read, I’m looking for the ways an author creatively expresses an idea or an image and thinking of ways I could do the same. Beautiful writing is as intriguing to me as a plot or theme.

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    1. Dee Dee, I totally agree. It is a form of research. Great writing stretches motivates me to stretch my abilities and try and become a better author.

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  5. I am constantly reading. Every day. It inspires me, feeds my creativity, and motivates me more than anything. Some authors inspire me with their ability to pen stunning prose, without pulling me out of the story. Others impress me with their page-turning prowess. Right now I'm re-reading Jennifer Crusie's classics and am awed by her mastery of deep POV and how adept she is at making her characters vulnerable without a bunch of backstory or exposition. Her first (and best, IMO) books are more than twenty years old and are timeless.

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    1. Josee, thanks for stopping by! Jennifer is a wonderful author. I admire those who have deep POV mastered. To me, deep POV is hard to beat for keeping me entrenched in the story world. The characters become so real.

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  6. Reading does inspire me to write. My problem is that between editing for other authors and trying to get my own books written, I don't have as much time to read for pleasure as I'd like. At the end of the day, my eyes are tired and need a rest from words.

    I have found that I also end up editing as I read. BUT, when I find myself totally immersed in a story and the editor in me has shut off, that's a sign of a well-written story. And I LOVE that.

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    1. I hear you Dawn. Sometimes after being on the computer all day with my day job I don’t want to see or do anything that requires me to strain my eyes. That said, I’ve been known to stay up ridiculously late reading. Terri Blackstock’s books keep me turning pages all night!

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  7. Hi Terri! Reading is a BIG inspiration for my writing. Sometimes when I've gotten so absorbed in my WIP and begin feeling as though my mind is spinning, I take a break and read a favorite author's latest book.

    I've also read articles by well-known authors who insist that "to be a successful writer, you must read a lot" and I think they've got a good point! :)
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Great point! Authors and editors will tell you to read voraciously. I think since reading and writing are so closely connected it keeps you focused. At the same time (since most of us are book lovers) it provides a nice break and stimulates our minds.

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