Well, June is behind us and California is in my rear-view mirror. We spent the last couple of days in Prospect, OR and visited Crater Lake National Park. I'll be sharing photos from that in a couple of weeks. Still have memories to share from three other parks in CA. Anyway....we're on the road to WA today to visit those 3 National parks!
Last month I introduced to you a brand-new-to-me author, Megan Whitson Lee. Today Megan returns to share some thoughts with us....
My grandmother introduced me to books. She was a voracious reader and devoured a book day. She encouraged me to read the classics, but she read romance novels like they were “going out of style” (one of her favorite sayings).
Up until a few years ago, I only read women’s contemporary fiction. I wanted real-life situations with realistic characters who had realistic problems and sought realistic solutions. When I began to write for publication, I joined writing communities, met other authors, and attended writers conferences. I quickly learned that there were genres I didn’t even know about. I was familiar with science fiction but had never heard of speculative. New adult, Amish, mail-order brides, and cowboy romances were completely unknown to me. I’d never read romantic suspense…and what in the world was steampunk? As I made more writer friends, I wanted to read their books, which led me into literary territory both foreign and exciting.
As a result of expanding my reading genres, a funny thing happened—my writing changed. Suddenly, a little romance crept into my story-lines. I stopped worrying about absolute realism, and allowed my characters to be a little more natural in their reactions. And I was completely taken aback when a fight scene slammed into the middle of my work-in-progress. How did that happen?
Reading across a variety of genres is important for our own writing. It opens up new worlds and new ways of storytelling. Different genres allow us to envision unfamiliar scenarios, characters, and settings and moves us out of our safe corral. It’s easy to fall into the rut of using the same descriptions, tag lines, and characteristics. Maybe introducing a character to an alternative world doesn’t make sense for our story, but a character’s strange new work situation or her escape to a prayer closet might use the same sort of descriptors. Techniques are transferable.
Read everything. Writers support each other, learn from each other, and our writing is better for it.
What great advice, Megan! Thanks for sharing.
Megan writes women's contemporary and historical fiction featuring characters standing at the crossroads of major life decisions, crises of faith, and moral dilemmas. Her novels depict real-life problems, address universal spiritual and moral struggles, and offer messages of hope, recovery, and redemption through God’s saving grace.
Her newest YA book, Suburban Dangers can be found at Amazon in Print and for Kindle and at Pelican Book Group. Find out more about Megan by visiting her Website and connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter (@MeganWhitsonLee), Instagram and Pinterest.
Hope you enjoyed today's guest post and that you'll join me each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight!
Until next time, take care and God Bless.