Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reading Across Genres

I'm sure you've heard how important it is to read widely in the genre you write. For instance, if you write young adult (YA), you should read a truckload of it to know the expectations and nuances of the genre. YA is typically faster-paced and more action-oriented than say, literary book club fiction. There are always exceptions but you should at least know the rules before you break them. Reading is crucial if you want to progress as a writer. Even Stephen King mentions that he reads as much as he writes during a day.

I agree completely with this, but I'm also in favor of reading outside your genre as well. Though I write YA, I just finished The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obrecht (loved it), and am about to start The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach for my book club. I think reading widely allows you to gain more perspective and opens up new possibilities for your writing. Several women in my book club just read 50 Shades of Grey, and though I'm not sure I want to read quite that widely, I admire their resolve to read mommy porn across genres. ;)

What about you? Do you often read outside of your chosen genre? What was the last book you loved that wasn't in the genre you write?


  1. I love to read widely because it inspires me to write what I enjoy, and it helps me bring new elements to my work instead of sticking to a "formula." For me, that means reading YA as well as non-fiction as well as classic books, pulp novels, and anthologies.

  2. I tend to read mainly historical fiction, literary fiction, and classic world literature, with some sci-fi. Last year, I went a little out of my league and read Ed McBain's Cop Hater, the first book in his 87th Precinct police procedural series. It was an interesting change of pace.

  3. Sarah--I love books that incorporate different elements into a genre, and think that's why my books don't fit neatly into a category.

    Carrie Anne--that is quite a change of pace! I love historical fiction and try to read it as often as possible between YA books. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...