How to Read Like a Writer - Deepstash
Overview: Read like a Writer
  1. Ask meaningful questions
  2. Articulate your opinions — and use evidence
  3. Annotate or keep a reading log
  4. Create something inspired by what you read
  5. Target specific w...

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How to Read Like a Writer

medium.com

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ZADIE SMITH

Readers fail when they allow themselves to believe the old mantra that fiction is the thing you relate to and writers the amenable people you seek out when you want to h...

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Ask meaningful questions
  1. What are my favorite lines, and how do they make me feel?
  2. How does the author set the stage with her opening line?
  3. Since the author says the moon is her mother, what does the t...

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Articulate your opinions — and use evidence

Write a  1 sentence summary of what the book was about and what I liked and didn’t like on a broad scale.

Then I’d spend a few sentences rating each metric: writing style, plot, characters, o...

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Articulate your Opinions - Examples
  1. Writing style- “concise” or “wordy.”
  2. Plot- slow versus fast paced, boring versus riveting.
  3. Characters- How attached am I to them, if they felt 3D, real, dynamic. Or, if the aut...

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Annotate or keep a reading log

The point is to capture what makes the text emotionally relevant to you

Whenever you open a new book, that experience doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You bring with it all of the stories you’ve co...

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Create something inspired by what you read

It is possible to kill your enjoyment of storytelling if you go headlong into every book with a surgical knife. That’s why I find it’s best to read most books casually and just experience the story...

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Target specific writing skills you want to improve

Narrow your focus to one of those elements. Smmarize each chapter to one sentence. In the end, reread your summary.

  1. What is the purpose of each scene?
  2. What character choices were...

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Examine the larger context
  • There’s no such thing as a wholly original work of literature
  • There’s a universal grammar of figurative imagery across literature
  • The intended audience and purpose of the text ...

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Reread

Rereading lets you get past your initial reactions to analyze why the story works or doesn’t work

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