Posts tagged recommended reading
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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Once Upon an Autumn Eve: How to Read Like a Writer

Have you ever read a novel with such a vivid setting, you wanted to visit that place or use it to inspire your own stories? Dennis L. McKiernan’s Faery in Once Upon an Autumn Eve is such a place. From McKiernan’s novel, writers can learn how to create a world readers hate to leave and strong female characters.

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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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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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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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Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: How to Read Like a Writer

If you want to take your readers on an emotional journey and focus on the internal conflicts of your characters, read Milk and Honey. Rupi Kaur uses the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing of her life to create an emotional story arc in her poetry collection. Through different points of view, form, and the economy of words, she brings emotional truths to the forefront of her text.

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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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Alchemy of the Afterlife by Linda Kinnamon: How to Read Like a Writer

If you want to hook readers into your memoir, you need to write it like a story. Linda Kinnamon borrows techniques from fiction to convey her experiences with life after death as a hospice nurse and in her personal life. Read her memoir Alchemy of the Afterlife, to learn how you can make your memoir as compelling as a great novel.

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Emily St. John Mandel: How to Read Like a Writer

Dystopian fiction is a popular current trend. If you want your story to stand out from the crowd, read Station Eleven. Emily St. John Mendel transforms dystopias. Through a twisted timeline, multiple points of view, and the importance of art, she speculates on how society might carry on after a pandemic deadlier than the Spanish Flu.

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Versailles by Kathryn Davis: How to Read Like a Writer

If you find historical events and people inspiring, read Versailles by Kathryn Davis. Davis transforms the famous palace to tell a story larger than the main character, while giving Marie Antoinette the voice and freedom to tell her own story. Discover how you can use these same techniques to enliven your writing.

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Transference by Kate Jonuska: How to Read Like a Writer

Often literary and genre fiction are at odds, but in Transference Kate Jonuska brings the two together through an extremely close third person point of view, snarky humor, and inner character conflict. You can learn how to blend styles by reading books like Transference.

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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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Hounded by Kevin Hearne: How to Read Like a Writer

If you’ve ever wondered how to write a page turner, read Hounded by Kevin Hearne. Using a narrator with an outstanding sense of humor, strategic chapter breaks, and a unique cast, this debut novel is a page turner worthy of a close read.

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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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