I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who needs to steer clear of certain kinds of book while writing. During the CODA process, I had to give up sci-fi completely, and even a lot of other kinds of fiction written by people whose style stuck in my head too easily. I wound up reading a lot of non-fiction, especially biographies and travel memoirs, and re-reading a lot of Terry Pratchett. (I love the Discworld books, but the style was never going to infect me. I’m totally incapable of bringing that level of funny.) I celebrated finishing CODA by reading John M. Cusick’s excellent GIRL PARTS.*
Now, I’m writing two books at the same time. One is a kind of companion novel to CODA, so all of the above still applies. The other one means that I can’t re-read any of the fantasy series I love so much. Including Narnia and Harry Potter. My soul is crying. If that’s not incentive to finish the book, I don’t know what is.
What I am/have been reading recently: A lot of contemporary YA, in particular John Green’s amazing THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. (I don’t really need to link that, do I? You all have a copy? Good.) Also, all the Bill Bryson travel memoirs I haven’t read yet (there aren’t many on that list), THE MASTER AND MARGARITA again to see if I understand more of what the hell is going on the second time around, and a few reference books on plot and style I dip in and out of.
It’s important to know and ready widely in your genre, but equally important to let yourself fall behind on that reading while you write. You know, YOUR book. The one that’s nothing like anyone else’s. You can always catch up.
Mostly, though, I’m writing another book I want to read.
*And with a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. The author made up a drinking game for me based on the book. HA!