Copyright reserved by E.A. Maynard 2020 ©
A common author’s phrase that I hear writers say is that ” Writers are the biggest readers.” They say that writers have to read more than most people in order to be a good writer.
A problem I have with that thought process is that not everyone has time to sit and read five books a week. Most writers I have gotten to know work full time to pay their bills and might have a family to care for and spend time with.
What I think is more of an accurate statement would be that writers take in stories more than others. I see writers talk about audio-books, and drama podcasts.
Let’s not forget about the movies, TV shows, and short videos on social media. These are just the start of how stories get to authors. Everyone has these options and some will spend all day listening to stories, sometimes while working their day job or driving.
What tends to be the difference from what I have heard, is not how many stories a person takes in, it’s more about how they had taken in the stories.
I have listened to the same audio-books four times before. I can tell you almost every bit of Atlas Shrug and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Of course there is a reason that I listen to these stories’ multiple times.
First, there is the entertainment that comes from a good story. Finding yourself in a world that brings the danger or an adventure through an unknown world, can take me away from a world full of negative issues.
The next layer for me is learning the little secrets hidden in the story and the little details that were missed when you focused on the overall story. I can tell you that Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere has numerous little details that will catch you on the second or third pass.
Finally comes the theme of the story. This is the lesson the writer seems to be trying to have you reach. I have read some books that try to beat the theme or moral of the story until you cannot stand it any longer.
Whereas the classic Beauty and the Beast is a good story that teaches a lesson without it being blatantly said. Now depending on the version you take in, will depend on the lesson. The original version is different than what Walt Disney put out.
It might sound odd, but the way you take in a story can change the way you think of it. An example is when I first read Dante’s Inferno. I loved it and the strange dreams it gave me. It was the first book I let take me away. I walked through Hell.
Then years later, I saw a show that was an adaptation of the Inferno. I hated it because it was so different than the book’s writing that I loved. I also played a video game that was called Dante’s Inferno. It was a good game that loosely followed the book.
But another couple years passed and I had not reread Dante’s Inferno, so I got the audio book. You might have guessed it. I hated it. The monotone that the narrator told the story gave no emotion or inflection of the way I took the book in. It felt like finding an old “B” movie from years ago. You like the story, but the way the story is being told turns you away listening.
My point is that the more stories that you can read, the more worlds and adventures you can go on. I can’t count all the stories out there, and I even list some on my newsletter, including a few Indies Books. There are a never ending list of stories for the readers(and listeners) out there.
Understanding the stories is more than just getting through a story. You need to find stories that take you away from where you are and into new worlds and thoughts. Learn what opens you up to a new insight that grabs your interest. Read that book or put on headphones, and go to spaces to see other’s lives. The choice is yours. Embrace the author’s life of taking in all the stories you can and just enjoy the written adventure.