Why Reading in Your Genre is SO Important

I’ve read a lot of YA Fantasy. I’ve seen a lot of overused plot devices and tropes. I’ve caught myself trying to use those same plot devices and tropes. By knowing about those tropes and plot devices, I can do something more original and unexpected. THAT is why the number one advice to become a better writer is to READ.

Let me repeat: reading in your genre is important.

It’s important to understand the language in your genre, the overused premises and plot devices, and what’s been written as well as what hasn’t been.

It’s important to see examples of sentence structure, word choice, and narration/action in use. It’s important to see how the protagonists of your genre interact with their world, the plot, and other characters.

Example – YA Fantasy protagonists tend to be more involved with the shaping of the plot than the protagonist of an A Murder Mystery. By reading in your genre, you know what’s expected.

I’ve seen a lot of YA fantasies use the plot device of “MC and Love Interest end up at a ball/party together; they dance and fall in love.” When I say I’ve seen it a lot, I’ve seen it enough that it’s becoming cliche. I roll my eyes when I see it coming, because there are plenty of more interesting and original ways to get your MC and Love Interest to like each other.

There are so many ways to get them to fall in love other than to have them meet at a party and have the MC realize how remarkably attractive Love Interest is. GAG.

By reading in your genre, you know what’s been overdone. You can write something new and exciting.

Go be new and exciting!

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