#AtoZChallenge: R is for Reading

For the A-Z challenge, I am posting writing and editing tips to help you improve and enhance your writing.

R is for Reading


I can’t quite believe that it’s already letter ‘R’ in the A to Z Challenge. This is my eighteenth post and my eighteenth editing and writing tip. And the advice I’m giving here is advice that really runs through all the tips so far.

My 18th editing and writing tip for writers is:


It may seem obvious and not worth saying, but if you want to be a good writer, if you’re serious about writing, if you want readers to enjoy your books, then you need to read. A lot.

Want to know how to write great dialogue? Read a book.

Want to know how to develop characters that are believable, empathetic and entertaining? Read a book.

Want to learn how to ‘show’ not ‘tell’? Read a book.

I could go on.

And it’s not just about reading great, well-written books. Sometimes reading a book where something isn’t quite right, where the dialogue is stilted and unnatural, where there are too many adjectives, can be just as helpful. It shows you what not to do.

But reading a great book, one that makes you feel bereft when you get to the last page, one that makes you laugh, cry, order another book by the same author, that experience is invaluable for any author – experienced, self-published, traditionally published or just starting out.  A fantastic reading experience can be inspiring; can push you forward, to strive to be as good.


And the other great thing about reading? Well, if you’re a writer or an editor or a proofreader or a cover designer or a book blogger, then reading counts as work! Sometimes I really love my job…


  1. Agreed! I’ve read books where I winced and thought – note to self – don’t do that.
    And I also find that when I get to the end of the book and I haven’t even THOUGHT about writing because I was so wrapped up in the story — THAT’S the book to go back and look at with a writer’s eye to see how they beautifully wove their words together.

    Trisha Faye

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And it means that you can even feel positive about reading something that isn’t great – if you learn from it you haven’t wasted your time (the positivity of your A-Z Challenge must be rubbing off on me!)


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