Before I begin today’s real post, I wanted to quickly announce the winners of my recent giveaway (from 100 Posts and 1,000 Followers). I’m still extremely touched, and so inspired by everyone who has taken time out of their lives to comment on my blog this month and all the months before it, and am more than thrilled to announce the winners, as follows:
GRAND PRIZE: Liz Blocker
1st Place: Diana
2nd Place: S Dot Love
3rd Place: Donna A. Leahey
All winners were drawn by a randomizer online. Thank you to everyone who participated! Liz, Diana, S, and Donna–– check out your prizes again on the original post, and then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your requests. Congratulations again!
Now, on to the “R” post!
It goes without saying that writers should read. There is a famous quote by Laura Lippman, to this effect:
I’ve already talked about this several times on my blog this month, the importance of reading, but I would add to that a profound importance of reading outside of your genre, and even your demographic.
Of course, what I mean is, if you’re a traditionally published author, you should also read indie, and self-published books. Same goes in reverse. If you are a U.S. American, you should be reading books from international sources (and not just European ones). Read books that have been translated, books that are written for people outside your age group (supposedly).
If you love reading and writing fantasy, read history. Read science, and culture, and things deeply devoted to facts. After all, truth is stranger than fiction. If you are a hard-boiled crime lover, check out something in a different aisle, perhaps even a contemporary, slice-of-life novel.
There’s so many reasons that this is important, but I’ll only touch on a couple here: for one, you don’t want to box yourself in. Staying stagnant in your genre is one of the quickest ways to get caged in by perceived tropes and recycled plots, whereas I’ve maybe gotten some of my best ideas for fantasy by reading memoirs, or historical non-fiction.
And second, well, you never know what you might end up liking. That’s why this year I am going to read in a genre I have never read before: romance. I’m not going to pick up some bodice ripper, where I know I’ll just get my stereotypes of the genre possibly confirmed. Rather, I’m going to pick up some romances based on recommendations. So… what say you, readers––have some to recommend to a long-time genre fiction reader?