I went to an interview with Kate Atkinson last Saturday in my local library. I was amazed at the turnout…it was the biggest Author event I have ever attended. Kate read from one of her books…her delivery was spell-binding and the characters came to life on every word…I just wanted to get hold of all her stuff (for Kindle) of course.
I was impressed by something that Kate said in reply to her interviewer’s question about reading to be a writer; “to write well you must read absolutely everything there is.” It seemed like a sweeping statement and some might say ‘over the top’ to me. However, when I review how my best ideas come to the fore, it is after a reading session of a broad range of genres and media. That is not to say that in reading we find ideas in other writing that we can lift out and rework, rather, it is that reading opens up the buried material in our own memory banks…material waiting to be exploited.
I downloaded Travellers Rest by James Enge last week. Not only was I thrilled by the story which takes place in a sort of futuristic/mythological lodging house, but my interest in Fantasy was reawakened after half a lifetime. Having written fantasy as a youth I now have a couple of stories outlined.
My encouragement then is for you to exploit yourself through the creativity of others…you’ll be surprised how many stories, novles, articles and more are waiting for the awakening.