“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” —Stephen King
Choosing the right reading material while writing is very important. Either a) it makes you feel utterly inadequate and insecure because the author’s work is rainbows and unicorn hair made into prose (*waves at Markus Zusak*), or b) it’s utter shite and you laugh so hard, your face turns the color of the Communist Manifesto. The main thing is it motivates you to write.
I’m very picky about what I read when I begin an intensive writing session. My style is first-person, past tense and I make a point of choosing similar books, so my Muse doesn’t get confused and book off.
She’s a fickle one.
I also avoid dreamy, literary stuff with a lot of metaphors and musings on life in relation to a perfect storm or something. Your writing will inevitably absorb part of what you’re reading and I want it stay as true to my usual ‘voice’ as possible. Oh, and it has to have a spark of humor.
I told you I’m picky.
Sometimes I can’t be bothered to try something new. There’s always a chance it’ll be a dud and I hate not finishing books. That’s when I turn to an old friend:
Summer’s Crossing by Julie Kagawa is a novella from her Iron Fey series, which is—you guessed it—about fey. The Summer Prankster ranks high on my Book Boyfriend list. Puck is delightfully witty and an entire book in his POV really lets his humor shine. The series as a whole has kickass world-building, and Kagawa has a way of describing places and people without going overboard. I suck at description scenes, so reading hers provides a good starting point for my own stuff. And she can write fight scenes like nobody’s business.
My dear writer friends currently writing Fantasy, this is definitely a series you want to check out.