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Read Everything: The Irresistible Novel

Here we are eighteen weeks into examining The Irresistible Novel by Jeff Gerke. So far, we have examined rules for fiction writing from various perspectives in order to help each of us to develop our fiction voice. This week, Gerke is stepping away from traditional writing rules to investigate a reading rule. The focus of this chapter is that in order to write fiction one must also widely read fiction.


Read Everything

Most novelists decide to become novelists because they love to read novels. However, there are writers out there who don’t actually read as often as one would think. There are many reasons why an author of fiction may choose not to read fiction often. For some, they may choose not to read because they don’t want the work of others to influence their own writing. They fear that subconsciously the voice of the author they are reading may come out in their own writing. For others, reading fiction is too much like work for them to choose to read as an act of leisure. And still others struggle to find the time to read and write so they choose to spend their time on the latter.

I relate with the other group of writers. I write because I love to read. My first love was reading and I’ve vowed to never let my writing overshadow my love for a good book. Yes, sometimes I’m hard pressed for time to read. Oftentimes I find myself having to choose how to spend my free time. I try my best to split that time between reading and writing, because I know that the more I read the stronger my writing will be. Because of this, I keep a book on my nightstand and at the very least I try to read for a few minutes before bed each night. I go through seasons where I read more than others, but to me to read is to strengthen my writing so I cannot imagine not being a wide reader.

My Current Project…

Instead of focusing on my current writing project today I want to look at my reading. I’m in the middle of a 24 Book Challenge. This was developed to help me read lots of different genres and to keep me consistently reading all year. In the process, I have fallen in love with The Selection series by Keira Cass and so have decided that every other book I read for the next couple of months will be one from that series. Currently, I am finishing up The Heir which is the fourth book in the series.

The Ameri Brit Mom


4 thoughts on “Read Everything: The Irresistible Novel

  1. Stephen King also says that reading is vital to writing. He also wrote a short book on writing, which is very good. I wish I had a grateful novel in me. I am a writer by nature and have thought of some good young adult ideas, but I write a few paragraphs and get exhausted. I’m probably a nonfiction writer, but haven’t come up with a title there either. Does the book mention how to find the inspiration?


    1. This book focuses more on writing the book than on getting ideas. Some books to look into to help with inspiration might be Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, and Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. Also, I’ve found it helpful to daily write in response to a writing prompt for a few minutes. Some of my story ideas have come from using prompts from 712 More Things to Write About by The San Francisco Writer’s Grotto. I hope that helps!!!

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