From time to time I’ll recommend—not review, mind you, but recommend, and yes, there is a difference—books that I think authors should have on their shelves. Some may be new and still in print, some may be difficult to find, but all will be, at least in my humble opinion, essential texts for any author, so worth looking for.
This time around is my full-throated recommendation of every single book you have ever read in your life and every book you will read for the rest of your life.
If you’re writing fantasy, you should be informed, inspired, excited, maybe occasionally intimidated, and actively learning from every fantasy story you’ve ever read and continue to read and be be informed, inspired, excited, maybe occasionally intimidated, and actively learning from every fantasy story you’re going to read in the future. Also, you should be be informed, inspired, excited, maybe occasionally intimidated, and actively learning from every other book, short story, poem… instruction manual, even… I don’t know… that you’ve ever read or will read. That includes the following genres and categories:
1. All of the genres and categories.
Writing YA cozy fantasy-romance with science fiction and horror elements set in Renaissance Italy? You can still—you should still be—informed, inspired, excited, maybe occasionally intimidated, and actively learning from every science fiction, horror, mystery, romance, “litfic,” story or non-fiction work of any kind—not just specific research for your work in progress, but everything—you’ve ever read or ever will read.
Do you need the full list again? Here it is in a slightly revised form:
Books, magazines, web sites, comics/graphic novels/manga, poetry, plays, and yes audio- and eBooks “count” and we absolutely can be just informed, inspired, excited, maybe occasionally intimidated, and actively learn from stuff we’ve read and didn’t like as our favorite books, favorite genres, and so on. If you read cozy fantasy, fantastic. Why not? If you read hard SF, great. If you only read (or write) those things then you’re limiting yourself, and why on Earth would anyone do that? Isn’t the world already working to limit us without our active participation? The only thing sadder than an author being “typecast” is when authors typecast themselves. By all means, write what you love to write, but infuse that with anything and everything you pour into yourself.
Reading is our endless continuing education course in writing.
Drop out at your own peril.
Did this post make you want to Buy Me A Coffee…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilAthans…
Link up with me on LinkedIn…
Friend me on GoodReads…
Find me at PublishersMarketplace…
Check out my eBay store…
Or contact me for editing, coaching, ghostwriting, and more at Athans & Associates Creative Consulting?
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Pingback: BOOKS FOR FANTASY AUTHORS XXXIV: BOOKS FOR FANTASY AUTHORS | Fantasy Author's Handbook