Writers should read. What might be even more helpful is to begin what Michael Petracca (in The Graceful Lie, a how-to writing book) calls an “Interactive Reading Journal”.
Divide your sheet of paper, a notebook page, or your screen page into two columns. List the left hand column as “QUOTATION,” and specify the item being read by title, whether it’s a fiction book, essay, book on writing, or whatever. You might also want to include a chapter title, page number or other identifying information (or page numbers could be listed at the beginning of each quote).
Read a particular portion: a chapter, a section as identified by the writer, or just until you find a quote you want to remember or respond to. Type the interesting or evocative quote in the left-hand column (with page number, as desired)
In the opposite column, write what you thought about the quote, or how you responded to it, or how you agree, or why you disagree, etc.
The longer you engage in this activity, the more you will begin to see HOW writers write, WHY they write. And you will see how you respond to those writings. All these can be important to you, as a writer, in crafting your own works.
In honor of Banned Books Week, I decided to list my top ten favorite banned books…but in the end, I couldn’t cut the list down. So here are my top fourteen, in no particular order, all of which have been listed by ala.org as some of the most frequently banned books.
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Fade by Robert Cormier
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
What are some of your favorite banned books?
One of the very best parts of writing for me is typing the words THE END.
We all know writing is tough. Sometimes the hardest part is just doing it. Every day. A few words at a time. When you don’t want to. When you think you can’t. When you hate what you’re writing.
If you endure, I promise good things will come of what you do.