To be a good writer
It comes up all the time. You can’t be a good writer unless you are a reader.
Many times in our writing group we talk about other authors the ones we like and those we don’t. Sometimes the ones we don’t like can be our best teachers for we look at the lines in their book and say, “there is no way I want to write Like this.”
Maybe the writing is poor sprinkled with inconsistencies like head-hopping, timeline errors, poorly defined characters, telling instead of showing or too much description, backstory and too little white space.
Maybe you don’t like the genre. You have no desire to write. sci-fi, horror, romance. No way would you venture into erotica .
Maybe you have a favorite author you wish you could emulate the simplicity of Alexander McCall Smith’s stories with characters you learn to love, the quickly family stories of Anne Tyler or Khaled Hosseni’ s books that expose us to a whole different culture.
Maybe it’s a more classic author you want to channel Jane Austin, Earnest Hemmingway, George Orwell, or one of the Brontes.
So love them or not the authors you read help to shape you as a writer. And the wise aspiring writer reads the good, the bad and the ugly. They read many genres and find their voice.