3. Study Writing to be a better writer
When I was starting out as a writer in middle school and high school no one really told me that I had to study writing to be a better writer. I didn’t like to read, I didn’t like to study, so I did neither. Because of that, my writing never grew as it should have. Once I discovered reading and how I can learn from my favorite authors I got better.
Additionally, I find it best to study what I want to write. I am a big fan of Patricia Highsmith and her suspense. So when I am writing suspense, I always read some of her works. When I want to write great characters, I read Stephen King and study his character arcs. I can emulate their styles to make my writing better.
One way that I have studied writing was to have a book by an author I want to write like open on my desk. I did this with Dave Barry’s fantastic, first novel, Big Trouble. I have read it many times. It is hilarious and a quick read. When I decided I wanted to write a comedy novel I opened his book. I studied the structure, I analyzed how he unfolded the jokes and I did my best to emulate that. When I actually sat down to write my comedy novel, I had his book open on my writing desk and introduced characters in much the same way. I read a page and structured my writing like his. I went as far as analyzing the jokes per page and did my best to have the same amount. My characters were introduced much like his and got into situations that were similar. I will say that I didn’t copy his characters, but I followed the structure so closely that I hoped my book would be taken as another book written by him.
In the end, I had only one problem and it was a major one. I can’t write anything that anyone would consider funny. I did make a pretty good story but the characters were closer to Dumb and Dumber without the hilarity.
Am I the only one that has done this type of thing or am I alone. Comment below.