Studying Similar Genres

Of the many articles on writing, the one about reading books that have similar settings or genres as your own is a good piece of advice. Look at the similarities in covers. Is there a specific mood conveyed? Do certain colors repeat? What about the titles themselves? What similarities might you observe that could influence a reader of the genre to choose yours?

Perusing the books, whether reading page for page, reviews, or skimming provides information about the writers’ styles, context, language, conflicts, and biases. The caveat is not to be overtly influenced and influenced to modify ones’ own voice.

Reading is a favorite pastime of most writers. But the eternal management issue is my nemesis: utilizing time effectively and efficiently. I have noticed that my own vocabulary floats away if my nose is not regularly in a book. So the result is feeling pulled in numerous directions: family, obligations, time with friends, blogging, tweeting, reading, and writing guilting me for time. I didn’t mention work. That would be a biggie. How do the rest of you manage your time? Any thoughts to share?

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