Read to enhance your own style

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So I have just finished an amazing book from a local Author in Adelaide. “Apocalypse – Diary of a Survivor” it’s a new take on when the world gets turned upside down by a meteor that is threatening to collide with Earth. Not only do you get to read all the things leading up to that, you also get a snap shot of the world straight after it and what happens in the months to follow. Matt J Pike decided to write this book in Diary form and it really was a great choice. It shows the main characters thought patterns and how the protagonist struggles with day to day life after it hits. It was a great read and I flew through it in about 2 weeks, which was awesome as I normally try to write instead of read. I learnt a valuable lesson. Reading helps your own writing. It gives you ideas and if nothing else helps inspire you to keep going.

Now I am an excitable guy anyway, I get excited over a lot of little things. I bought my OzComicCon ticket to specifically buy this book. Being a fan of post apocalyptic events and having watched a lot of shows like Doomsday Preppers, The Colony and The Walking Dead, I was excited to get my hands on this book. However the big selling point for me was that it was set in Adelaide, my own home town. This would be the first post apocalyptic piece I have read or watched that I know the location. Wow, I was excited. Meeting Matt was another cool experience also and just having someone that I could maybe ask questions about my own book and the process involved after writing it was an exciting bonus. What i found was knowing the locations in a book was a massive game changer. I felt more involved in the story and could picture the landscape as the story unfolded infant of me. I never thought about the locations being such a selling point but for me it added so much.

For those two weeks where I thought I should put the book down and continue writing my own story was just a guilty thought as after the weeks passed I realised that I had wrote more in the last month within the time I was reading the book than I have ever before. What does this mean? Well I think reading goes hand in hand with writing and helps you develop different styles and approaches to certain situations. Matt’s style was really great at helping my own style develop and I became more and more eager to try out new things and different ways my character could communicate to others. Now I’m not saying that it totally changed my way of writing, I think no matter how much you read you will have your own style and thats important, but I guess I’m saying that it helps when you get stuck. How did other Authors get out of these situations? What would they have gotten their characters to do? I guess i want to know if you are a writer if you prefer not reading other works whilst you write or if you read as much as you can. Let me know in the comments as I would love to follow as many authors as I can.

My eyes are now open and not only am I going to continue reading whilst I write, I’m also going to keep concentrating on local authors. Who knows, it might also help to get me involved in the community so I can network when I need to.

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