Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Reading for Deep Impact

Writing prompt 4! These are difficult to answer sometimes...

How do the things you read impact your writing? What do you love to read? What do you avoid reading at all costs? How would your writing change if you read more of the things you typically avoid?

What I love to read impacts my writing in a profound way, certainly. But I read everything I can get my hands on so my style hasn't been affected in a major way by one or the other. My readings impact my mind instead. I find it easier to build in a twist or for my brain to play mental ping-pong with settings, characters, and sensory descriptions because I know what so many others have done before me.

I absolutely love fiction but am not opposed to reading non-fiction when the mood strikes or I find something I want to learn more about. Yassa required that I read a lot of historical books and white papers in order to fully grasp the timeline and life progression of Temujin (Genghis Khan). What I learned, I embedded in the story. While much of it is fiction, most of it is fact.

Writers have a different thought process than a typical reader. Ohhhh, I can feel your blood pressure rising because of that statement! Allow me to explain, please? A reader may become immersed in a book and feel, just as writers do, but what sets a writer apart is that we aren't just feeling. We subconsciously analyze the text and pick up new phrases as we read along. We pay attention to the nuances that most readers may miss. I read a text word-for-freaking-word and notice when something is misplaced or misspelled.

I am a writer, I care about the text, the pages, and what I take away from the story.

My sister is a reader, and she consumes books more quickly than I do. I barely have time to get to know the character in a book before she's done and has moved on to the next book. She reads fast. Does that mean she isn't fully immersed in the story? No. It means the story doesn't tickle within her that certain something that it tickles inside a writer. A good critic reads the way she does.

If I read more encyclopedia entries, I think my writing would grow flat and uninteresting; too factual for a reader of fiction.

Let me give you a for-instance: 

Wikipedia entry: Genghis Khan (/ˈɡɛŋɡɪs ˈkɑːn/ or /ˈɛŋɡɪs ˈkɑːn/,[4][5] Mongol: [tʃiŋɡɪs xaːŋ] ( listen); 1162? – August 1227), born Temujin, was the founder and Great Khan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.

That is verbatim.

Me: Genghis Khan was a powerful Mongolian ruler with a small stature and a big head. He was born around 1162 and named Temujin; but the plain name didn't stop him from conquering an entire continent. No, it only fueled his desire to be the greatest Khan to ever live. When he died in 1227, his Mongol Empire was the largest contiguous empire in history.

That's how my head works and too much non-fiction would inevitably kill my inner writer :)

Time to get off that and get on this :)

TODAY, Yassa released to KDP, NOOK, Smashwords, and CreateSpace!!!! I'm so happy that it's out there and done. I have been immersed in the book since January of this year. It feels good to finally get it finished. If you do nothing else, go check out the cover art. Watercolor illustration done by yours truly!

You can find it by following these links:

Amazon (digital)
NOOK (digital)
Smashwords (digital)

I have donated a copy for this blog challenge so remember to blog every day for your chance to win. I'm doing a giveaway of the print edition on Goodreads as well. A few interviews are scheduled to hit the web over the month of June and the giveaway is running in tandem with those.

So, follow me and enjoy those great promotions! A super secret fact (that's no so secret once I publish this blog) is: in the back of Yassa, on the Smashwords edition, there will be a coupon good for a FREE copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book One. Two books for the price of one! You can't beat that!

That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. We subconsciously analyze the text and pick up new phrases as we read along. We pay attention to the nuances that most readers may miss. I read a text word-for-freaking-word and notice when something is misplaced or misspelled.

    Right on! I do that now that I write. But I do still read fast like your sister, and absorb the story; odd for me since I tend to have a one-track mind. I was able to both soak up your characters and stories while I read Yassa, while simultaneously finding phrases I liked, words that might fit better or have a stronger flow. I think this means my brain is broken. Lol. I always knew I was a freak. Maybe I'm just too much of a dichotomy--the avid reader mixed with the perfectionist writer. I may be doomed... :D

    1. I am an avid reader as well, but take to a good book like I would eat something I love. It's a slow, fully immersing thing that consumes me.

  2. I'm a super fast reader too and I wonder if that effects how much I get from a story. Usually though if I love a book enough I'll re-read it and end up picking up things I missed the first time around. -Heather

    1. Thanks for popping by and leaving blog love. :)

      I re-read all the time. Nothing wrong with that!

  3. I love the way you read, I'm the same way! (and my twin sister reads the same way your sister does) :P

    1. Do we come out in pairs like that, ya think? LOL Thanks for popping over for a visit!

  4. I do think what I can read can temporarily effect my writing style, especially if the prose resonates with me.

    I read fast, but I have a daughter who reads even faster and retains more of the detaisl of what she reads than I do.

    1. I think Stephen King has situated his ideals in my head. I write what readers will remember - even if it pisses them off :)


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