- Read widely and well. See reading as feeding the imagination so the wider the sources the better. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
- Read non-fiction as well as fiction. Especially if you want to build your own world. non-fiction features can give direct influence as to how you set your fictional creation up.
- Read contemporary as well as classic. You get a feel for changes in the use of language (you might need to know this for portraying how your characters speak) and you keep up to date with what is going on in the publishing world. You can also see how contemporary authors market their work and so on.
- Read short stories as well as novels (and vice versa). Be open to writing in more than one form - it widens your possibilities. Writing short for flash and short stories can be good discipline for writing novels funnily enough. You have to write tightly for the former. Get into the habit of doing that and you will write your novels tightly (which will be a great aid to pace).
- Listen to audio books/radio dramas and stories. You can hear how dialogue works, how a story comes across and ask yourself if yours comes across similiarly.
To follow on from yesterday's top 5 writing tips, here are my top 5 reading tips.
I'm Allison Symes and write fairytales with bite, especially novels and short stories.