Hi. Back to blogging. Over the summer I did a lot more reading than writing. Everyone has their favorite genres including myself. I like horror, romance, and mystery books. Some people ONLY like their favorite genres. I wanted to talk about why reading more than just 1-3 genres can benefit us as writers. I see an extreme growth in my own writing because of the amount of reading I did over the summer. I dove into genres I thought I would absolutely hate like Sci-Fi, humor, action fiction, and even a couple biographies. It can offer a very large range of benefits for us as writers.
Reading different genres exposes you to different story telling formats, structures, and perspectives. Especially if you pick up a fantasy novel or Sci-Fi. Being exposed to these forces a creative stimulation for us to think outside of the box. It can broaden our creative thinking I would say. Writing isn’t always about emotion, though, it is some people’s favorite thing to add to writing. Reading books that explore more than you think inside a box is eye opening.
Reading a diverse genre can also broaden your perspective on writing. Think of it like this, each genre and novel offer you a unique lens for us to view the world through. Different genres can expose you to different cultures, time periods, and topics to write about. They can show you different ways to write about certain subjects. You can even get a new perspective on your favorite thing to write about. Maybe you write a horror story, but you read someone else’s horror story after. They may show you a whole different perspective on how to show fear in a story.
Now, you will also get to improve your own personal writing through exploring literature. You will get to read different tones, styles, voices, and narratives. All of which can improve your own writing skills. You will see how different genres employ different pacing, language, dialogue, and imagery. These are all very versatile as well. Once you apply them to your own writing, they don’t have to be exactly how the other novel used them. You make them your own as well. You can also make them engaging.
New genres can expand your vocabulary by miles. Diverse genres have new words, phrases, and terms specific to their genre. You would be able to enrich your vocabulary, which will enable you to communicate more effectively in your writing. I noticed that my recent flash fiction and poem I wrote had a very wide vocabulary I never saw in my previous writing.
You will improve your adaptability as a writer. If you are skilled in multiple genres, you will be able to adapt to new projects. This is extremely handy for us because we are literary students. We get new projects very often that aren’t in our comfort zones, or we may dislike the prompt. If you’re experienced in more than one genre your adaptability to these projects will be improved. The dynamic of your work can improve as well because of your ability to draw from different genres.
Different genres evoke different emotions in the characters in the story. When you read a horror novel you read the characters in fear, romance novels show them in love, and a scientist in a Sci-Fi novel may show them focused. You would experience a wide spectrum of emotion and many new ways to describe it. Every author describes these emotions differently as well as every genre. Reading new authors more often and more genres will show you so many new ways to have your readers feel the same and connect more with your characters.
Empathy also plays a large role. If you read different genres you will read about different characters from so many backgrounds and situations. This helps you develop empathy which will give you a broader understanding of human nature. How will this help your own writing though? This will enrich the authenticity of your characters.
I hope my blog may help some of you who are in writers block or just like to read in general. From my own personal experiences, I recommend reading many novels on every inch of the spectrum.