I talked before about my dyslexia and the challenges that caused for me in my childhood and even into adulthood. The voices it put into my head that forever berate me about my writing, speaking, and even reading aloud. When you’re a child and things do not happen immediately you are confident they will never happen. I thought I would never learn to read and then one day I did. I would love to say I never stopped but I did when I had severe depression. I stopped reading for about four years. When I started again I hit it hard. In my adolescence, I read a lot of the classics, Jane Austin, Louis May Alcott, Dickens, and Thoreau to name a few. The book that got me reading again was The Hunger Games. I devoured YA fiction for the next several years. Now I am back to reading a variety of YA, classics, and non-fiction. I’m still in the place of – if you hand me an adult fiction book I’m gonna fall asleep. I just can’t do it.

The biggest thing I’ve found is how much reading helps my writing. The more I consume the more I can produce. I did have one odd few weeks where I was rereading The Hunger Games and suddenly Dandelion started to sound a whole lot like Katniss. I had to put it away for a while and pick up something new to read. Usually, whatever I’m reading, helps my own voice to grow stronger. I can dissect what other writers have done, see what I like, what I don’t like, why, and how I want to do it differently in my own writing. I’ve enjoyed reading several YA series over the last year and watching how they successfully kept building their world or destroyed it with bad plotting. It gave me a lot to think about with Dandelion. Staying consistent is key. If I wrote it in book one and decide by book two or three I wish I had done it differently, too bad for me. I should have thought it out better and plotted further down the line. Plotting is important, keeping your characters true to their character even more so. That is where your writing chops really come into play. A lot of people can write a nice sentence or paragraph, keeping your story seamless through books, that is tricky. By no means am I saying I have mastered this, time and books will tell how well I have done.

What is your favorite genre? What is your favorite book you’ve read in the last year?