Saturday, December 22, 2007

Writers Read

I am always wary of people who claim to write but don't read. They say, "Oh I don't have time to read" or "I don't want to be influenced by other people."

Writers read. Stephen King devoted pages to this subject in his wonderful memoir/inspirational guide, "On Writing." (Well, he has a tendency to devotes pages and pages to lots of things which is probably why his books are so darn long.) I'm re-reading his book now, having first read it years ago when it came out. Now that I have published a book and have been through that particular process, I find I am reading it with different eyes, a different head.

I find the same thing to be true when I re-read children's books that I loved as a kid. Now that I am an adult, I get a completely different feel from the read. As a writer, I see the story structure better; as an adult I see the character development more; and as a reader, I experience the pleasure of a great book in my hands. (It's rare that I re-read a beloved book and wonder why I loved it - which is certainly not true of movies!)

The writer who, when asked for a favorite book title, does not produce a huge list, is no writer. One title should lead to the next should lead to the next and so on. I can't get out of a conversation about books without mentioning fifty titles in half a dozen genres. "Here, let me send you a list," is how I usually conclude such a discussion.

No, I don't trust those non-reading writers.

Your Hollywood connection,