The Best Way to Write Is to Read
Last night, I re-watched one of my favorite movies, “The Manhattan Project,” co-written by Marshall Brickman. It is a fictitious story about a teenager who builds an atomic bomb. Despite being filmed in 1986, the story is still relevant and does not look too dated for a high-tech film.
After the movie, I watched the special features, and Marshall Brickman described writing the movie and provided some advice. It was amazing to learn that he had his own wacky outline process, similar to the flower method.
In the video, he stated, “The best way to write is to read.” I partially agreed with this statement and wanted to explore it as a blog topic. I advise other writers to read at least one hour per day. The primary benefit is improved writing mechanics (grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and flow). A secondary use is to inspire a writer to create, and a third is a source of ideas.
Reading also provides examples of what not to do. When a writer comes across a scene that does not work, has poor dialog, misses plot connections, contains logic errors, and other apparent mistakes, it will help them identify their own writing mistakes. Granted, I have become a jaded reader and now hate when I come across errors.
However, I caution my four blog readers, who might be potential writers, not to get their core ideas from existing books. For example, my third book is a spy novel, and I enjoy the spy novels by Tom Clancy. Why not write a book just like his? After all, my other favorite author, Alex Berenson, has made a career of writing Tom Clancy styled books. True, but Alex’s novels will always live in Tom’s shadows. This limits success and will lead to bad reviews comparing Alex to Tom Clancy. Getting your ideas also limits “dynamic range.” Alright, this might not be the correct term. The goal for any writer is to create something new, which cannot be accomplished by copying.
Primary inspiration should come from your heart and not somebody else’s work. So, does this blog count for my one-hour recommended time? Umm, yup.

You’re the best -Bill
September 07, 2022
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