‘Reading Like a Writer‘ was one of the most helpful writing guides that I have read thus far. It is by no means a simple how to guide on how to be a better writer. Instead Francine Pose guides you through extracts of well written literature and cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words. She explains that a good writer makes sure that each and every word in the story has a purpose.
Although it is not an easy feat to attempt to write as well as the authors discussed in the book (even a bit daunting), Prose has inspired me to be a better writer and at the same time a better reader.
Notes & Quotes
* ‘You can assume that if a writer’s work has survived for centuries, there are reasons why this is so.’ – Prose highlights that reading or re-reading the classics is as beneficial as reading the modern novel.
* Skimming is not my friend. Yes I have a lot of books to read in my life time but as Prose advises ‘Skimming just won’t suffice if we hope to extract one fraction of what a writer’s words can teach us about how to use the language’
* Telling Vs Showing – ‘don’t tell us a character is happy, show us.’ There are however still occasions when telling is far more effective and time saving.
* Paragraphs – ‘A new paragraph is a wonderful thing. It lets you quietly change the rhythm, and it can be like a flash of lightening that shows the same landscape from a different aspect.’ – Babel
* Don’t leave out the details! – ‘Details are what persuade us that someone is telling the truth.’ We need to trust the writer is in control.