Learning by osmosis: recommendations

I have a new person that I am beta reading for… well, two, really. But one of them is much more interested in the idea of learning to write better than they are in specific edits to their work, which is really what I like to do.

Teaching is something I have always enjoyed, and getting to teach about writing, well, I can’t really think of anything I would enjoy more!

One of the things that her and I have been talking about is the idea of learning to write well by osmosis. Both of us agreed that the books that you read influence the way you write. I have heard other writers say the same thing; one friend reads books/documents from whatever time period she is writing in, in order to get the voice/tone for the time down correctly.

The only question, I guess, is then… what do you read? You don’t want to read bad books, but finding good authors is like finding a needle in a stack of needles.

So these are my recs! They are mostly fantasy, because I am in love with fantasy.

For voice/learning how to write first person to best effect: Sarah Monette’s Melusine series.

For world-building: Martha Wells, specifically Cloud Roads.

For learning how to tell effectively: Naomi Novik.

For breaking out of genre norms for female characters: Robin McKinley.

For ideas that are really original: Emma Bull.

For the most tightly written trilogy I have ever read: Lynn Flewelling’s Tamír triad.

For narrative traction: The Hunger Games by Suzane Collins. You can read the rest of the trilogy if you like, but the first book is the best example of narrative traction.

I think that’s about it. Do y’all have any recs for me? This is my goodreads page; I have read everything here! (Though, I need to add some to that. Umm.)


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