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Friday, April 17, 2015

Reading is Research



I'm sure you all know that to be a really good writer you should read. However, this sounds really broad to me, so I'm going to expound on it a little.

Backstory: I got a book out of the library (and later for my birthday) called "Jack Reacher's Rules."
This is the cover.

It's an amazing book by the way, you should check it out. Even though most of the 'rules' are meant for people like Jack Reacher (hitchhiking ex-soldier who solves cases when he can), some of the rules are applicable to life, such as "hope for the best, plan for the worst." That one's applicable in almost any situation. I really enjoyed the book, and it did have a lot of good advice for detective writing.

As a result, I got some Jack Reacher books from the library. Specifically, "A Wanted Man."

The cover
I'm on chapter 7 as of when I wrote this Thursday evening and I'm enjoying it immensely. However, as I was reading it, I realized something;
I was doing research. Even though I might never write the certain mystery that's taking place in the book, it was still wonderful research. The detail with which Lee Child described Reacher's environment (currently the inside of a car) was stunning. Though it was a lot of minute details, Jack Reacher got a lot of information from it. It was really fascinating to read. I took a lot of notes (in a notebook since it was a library book) about the writing and what he put into the story.

I suggest you do the same. If you're writing fantasy, get a fantasy book out of the library and take notes. If you're writing contemporary, get a contemporary book, etc. etc. My prediction is that it could help a lot.

Reading books in the same genre as the book you're writing helps you to be more aware of good (and bad) things that happen in the genre. You can make it different, new, and exciting!
I really love reading for research. It's my favorite way to do it.

Do you read for research? What kind of genres are you reading now? What kind of genres are you writing now?