Before You Write, Start Reading!

A few weeks back, the Department of Writing and Linguistics brought two literarily acclaimed authors Kevin Wilson and Brock Clarke to Georgia Southern providing students as well as many professors and local residents with an opportunity to listen and learn from two well spoken and, more importantly, well written gentlemen. During the course of their two-day visit, they each held a writing workshop for students who major or minor in Writing and Linguistics. I had the pleasure of sitting in on the workshop held by Brock Clarke, author of many fiction novels and short stories, his latest Exley.  Throughout the workshop students had the opportunity to ask questions and Clarke shared advice that helped in his own writing.

A piece of advice given was that writers should read books with the subjects that they like to write. All writers are readers. We enjoyed reading so much that we were inspired to write, hopeful that our words would one day spark an emotional response to those who pick up our stories. Although Clarke’s piece of advice seems simple it is true. The reading we do is a constant inspiration in our own writing. While we should read often and vastly, not leaving out any genres, if we want to focus on a particular genre we should read. We read until we know what will work and what won’t work. We read until we know our voice and our plot. We read until we are inspired.

If you are looking to write a post apocalyptic novel, pick up The Road by Cormac McCarthy. From there keep searching for post apocalyptic novels and see if it makes your story and your writing more crisp. This advice goes for any genre whether it be Westerns, Love Stories, Parodies, Spy Novels etc. Find what your interested in, what you love to write and start reading!

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