Posts tagged how to read like a writer
It Happened One Doomsday: How to Read Like a Writer

Writing with emotion doesn’t mean you need to create a soap opera story. Emotion can be subtle, overwhelming, positive, and negative. In It Happened One Doomsday, Laurence MacNaughton tells the thrilling story of a weak sorceress determined to save a demon and stop the apocalypse, while keeping his readers smiling. You can learn to keep a dark situation light and use setting to your advantage by reading his novel.

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Scythe: How to Read Like a Writer

Not all stories have built in conflict. Neal Shusterman managed to find conflict in utopia. From his novel Scythe, writers can learn to find the conflict in seemingly perfect situations, consistently make things worse to hold reader interest, and effectively use journals.

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Elizabeth’s Midnight: How to Read Like a Writer

It’s easy to get lost in complex plots and world building, but not every story needs a web of ideas. Sometimes a story is about one person and their journey. Aaron Michael Ritchey focuses on a single character and plot arc in Elizabeth’s Midnight. His unique, fully developed characters and “what could be worse” plot make his novel linger with readers.

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Cinder: How to Read Like a Writer

Beginnings are challenging. If you’re searching for the best place to start your story, read the first chapter of Cinder by Marissa Meyer. You’ll learn how you can start with action without using violence and how to introduce your characters and world in a way that keeps your story moving and uses description, exposition, and dialogue.

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Proof A 30th Street Fiction Anthology: How to Read Like a Writer

To understand how a critique group can improve your writing, look at how 30th Street Fiction critique group impacted “The Mortician’s Assistant.” I share before and after lines from my story, so you can see how critique impacted my piece and what it can do for your writing.

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The Dragon Book: How to Read Like a Writer

If you want to make your story standout from others in your genre, you need to make the tropes and stereotypes your own. The authors of the short stories in The Dragon Book re-imagine the infamous creatures. The anthology also demonstrates how to pace and design a collection.

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The Sleeper and the Spindle: How to Read Like a Writer

The Sleeper and the Spindle is a young adult short story transformed into a graphic novel. Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell, it is an excellent example of how the written word and visual art can come together to create an engaging story. If you’re thinking about combining text and image, or another kind of creative partnership, read this book.

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Fra Keeler by Azareen Oloomi: How to Read Like a Writer

Insanity is a common theme in literary fiction and fear in people. If you’re using this dark, relatable trope, read Fra Keeler to learn how Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi uses stream of consciousness, symptoms of madness, and internal conflict, so her readers experience what it’s like to go insane alongside her narrator.

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Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: How to Read Like a Writer

Most authors have a favorite writer whom they wish to emulate in some manner. However, if your favorite is a classic writer, you may need to pick the aspects of their style you incorporate into your own writing carefully. Today’s readers are not the same as the readers of the past.

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Ghosts by Sophie Calle: How to Read Like a Writer

Sometimes the story we wish to tell is not our story. In Ghosts, Sophie Calle uses a collection of voices to tell the story of missing museum art pieces. Learn how to combine interviews to create a larger story and build distinct character voices from Ghosts.

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When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs: How to Read Like a Writer

Do you have a book you read over and over because you can’t stop thinking about the characters, world, and story? When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs is that book for me. The novel lingers with its readers because Briggs breaks a few rules, conventions, and tropes, which you can learn to do too.

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Europeana by Patrik Ourednik: How to Read Like a Writer

When an author wants to create a specific effect or tone, sometimes the traditional layout of text on a page doesn’t work. You need something slightly or vastly different. Patrik Ourednik experiments with form in nonfiction Europeana to generate an objective historical account. Other authors can learn from and borrow his form.

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Born to Run by Christopher McDougall: How to Read Like a Writer

Whether you're interested in running long distances or not, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superalthetes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall is a must read for any aspiring nonfiction writer. McDougall employs concepts, conflicts, characters, and causalities often associated with fiction to share the knowledge he gained while asking "Why does my foot hurt?"

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Self-Help by Lorrie Moore: How to Read Like a Writer

If you want to try out a new writing technique or put your reader in an uncomfortable situation, the short story might be the format for you. Self-Help by Lorrie Moore is a collection of short stories that gives Moore the chance to have her readers walk in another’s shoes through second person point of view and create a variety of character voices.

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: How to Read Like a Writer

If you’re writing an unreliable narrator or plot twists, check out The Girl on the Train. Paula Hawkins uses plot twists to build suspense and change perceptions of her characters. She also uses a variety of characteristics to make her narrators untrustworthy. Learn how to control the information in your story for similar effects.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: How to Read Like a Writer

An example of a narrator other than the main protagonist, The Book Thief uses word choice, form, and voice to show Death's perspective on humans during World War II. By studying Markus Zusak’s novel, you can learn how to do this in your own writing.

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The Way I Heard It: A Podcast by Mike Rowe: How to Listen Like a Writer

In today’s multi-media world great stories exist in many forms, and the ones Mike Rowe tells on his podcast are no exception. If you want to learn how to build mystery, suspense, and curiosity in a short space, listen to The Way I Heard It.

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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: How to Read Like a Writer

What do people mean by read like a writer? Find out by exploring the techniques master world builder and wordsmith Neil Gaiman used in his award winning novel The Graveyard Book. Discover how he ignited his ink and created a story that haunts readers of all ages and genres.

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