I did something a little different for me: I signed up for an advanced copy of a romance novel. All I have to do is read it in the next two weeks and write and post a review on Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. The book was emailed to me in a PDF a few minutes after I filled out the form, so I’ve had a chance to browse through the pages. It doesn’t look like it’ll take me too long. I’ll probably be able to read it and write the review Saturday evening.
This is the first time I’ve ever signed up to read a book and write a review. I’m actually wicked excited about it. My schedule has been too packed for me to squeeze in much reading; that’s one of the reasons why I review short stories here. I like reading, and I enjoy the challenge of crafting reviews. Maybe this could be the start of a new writing opportunity for me.
Reviewing this book will help my writing, too.
When I read, the story carries me through the pages. I don’t watch the page numbers unless the outside world intrudes in the form of bedtime or taking the dog for a walk. And even then, if the story lingers in my chest, I crack open the book again and read until the clock reads 1:30 in the morning. Sometimes even later.
Reviewing takes concentration. I need to absorb the words and digest them so I can verbalize my opinion. The plot, characters, and setting all have to be analyzed. Plus understanding the motivations of both the writer and the characters helps to delve deeper into the story itself.
I then get the opportunity to see my work through the eyes of a reviewer. Those little details I might never have noticed–the level of depth in the setting, the quirks of the memorable characters, and the subtle foreshadowing of the plot–become crystal clear during the editing process.
It also shows me what’s out there being published. That gives me confidence. My writing is just as good, sometimes better, than what’s out there. I just have to get it in front of agents and publishers.
Has reading helped your writing? Is there a book that has influenced you?