Saturday, July 28, 2012

Notes on writing from reading

Often, when I'm drained of inspiration, reading is the only thing that helps. "You scarf down books the way other people do food," Samir once joked to me. Reading helps me learn about writing. I wanted to share some notes I took from the recent books I finished.

1. Give a character something to lose, something that drives them, or both.

2. It's okay to not dive into every detail of a character's life. (Character charts sometimes help us flesh a character out but that doesn't mean each tidbit has to be woven into a book.)

3. Don't make anyone too "perfect". Smart, handsome, kind, wealthy, etc. Flaws are what make characters and people real. 

4. Describe someone's settings to show character. For example, does your character have a messy desk? A neat one with file folders and organized drawers? No desk? 


  1. These are such great tips. I love reading so much that I don't think I read as a writer the way most writers seem to do. I get so involved in a terrific story that I'm reading just for the joy of it!

  2. Alex, same!
    Laura, thanks! I bet you're having fun watching gymnastics :)

  3. Oh! I haven't done much of #4 - that's awesome! Thanks :) I read a TON too - you can learn so much and it's fun!