For anyone interested in learning to write or those who would like to learn more, I have posted a description of a book by Francine Prose called "Reading Like A Writer. It was a great book!
I started reading this a year or two ago. I really need to pick it back up and go through it again. I found it very interesting to read and as I read fiction, I find myself breaking things down somewhat, though probably not as much as I should. I do find myself figuring things out in the movies I watch and the TV series I watch minutes, sometimes even episodes, before they happen. And a lot of that has to do with me thinking as a writer and how I would do it.
I am currently writing a Western on "The Legend of Sven Svenson, the Swedish Cowboy" detailing my thinking. It's more of writing down the movie in your head. I will have to look your book. Thanks, Jael.
I think the key is to read all the great literature you can get your hands on. You will pick up on the rules of grammar naturally and your writing can only improve.
That is exactly the way that Francine Prose teaches a lot of her classes! As a matter of fact at the end of the book there are 3 pages of great literature that she thinks all prospective writers should read.
actually, it's next on the list...as soon as i finish "how to read literature read like a professor" by thomas c. foster. as one who loved doing research papers, it organizes all that thinking you did and gets ya where ya need to go a bit quicker in the future.
Absolutely, most respected writing programs have a list of 100 or more required reading classics that span the ages through today. But, it is a good idea to read some fiction studiously paying attention to style and structure, hard to do, because you get lost in good fiction and forget to pay attention.
taking to uninvited writer's point--i completely agree about reading great literature or any other kind of literature, for that matter, but i'm not so sure about the picking up on grammatical issues "naturally" comment-- in part because lots of great or even good literature breaks or bends those issues almost beyond recognition sometimes and without a working knowledge of those rules and issues, you don't recognize the exceptions and, as a writer, i think it's harder to tell your story as effectively as you would want. granted, it's a technical point, but, particularly if you are trying to publish, using every tool in the box to tell your story can only put you a leg up on all the rest.
It can be hard to read like a writer! I know I can easily get lost in a story and forget to pay attention to how a writer keeps me so interested. But I still believe that at least half of what I know and have learned about writing has come from reading books (The other half would be from how-to books).
I'm interested in this book that you mention, especially because I believe in reading to learn how to write. I'll check it out.
I understand, but see I'm just starting out and I am reading all I can to learn how to write well!
Jumping off of Uninvited Writer's point, diagramming sentences is a helpful skill. It's amazing how much you learn about the language you've spoken your entire life! Solid sentence structure can really elevate your writing.
Believe it or not, I love diagramming sentences! Thanks!
are you serious? Diagramming sentences means picking out the adverbs, adjectives and such, right? I hate it! I don't know anything other than a noun, a verb, and a conjunction.
'Conjunction junction, what's your function' TV taught me a lot....
(seriously, though, that's the only reason I know what a conjunction is....)
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