Writing Rule #3

It’s been said before, it’ll be said again.
This. Is. So. Important.

B.B. Morgan

Read. That’s right. You want to write well and sell books? Read.

Read in your genre to know what’s being done, what’s been done, and what hasn’t been done in a while. You avoid tropes and stereotypes this way. (While searching for agents to query, I found one agent’s profile that specifically said “no spunky redheaded protagonists.” I take that to mean a startling number of queries advertised one.) This way, you also know authors who write similar to you. When you write that query you can say, “Fans of this author or this book will enjoy mine.”

Don’t just read in your genre. Read all genres. Read nonfiction. Take a break and browse through a reference book. Read new books. Read classics. Read short stories and poetry. Read essays. Read not just to know trends and what’s getting published, but also to see how other writers structure sentences…

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