Reading the Greats

Every couple of years, I give myself a theme for my reading that helps my writing. For the past two years, I’ve mainly focused on short stories because I was writing them to get a grasp on my voice, pacing, and plot; as well as, get my name out there to start building a fan base and my resume. This year with my goal in reach, I’ve switched my focus to reading through speculative fiction greats and favorites.

When assembling my list, I tried to make sure they were all Grand Masters like Octavia Butler or inspirational writers to me like Ray Bradbury. I want to read a smattering of the writers works and words, so I am reading every writer’s first book and story and then their most famous pieces.

The full list at the moment is:

Not only am I reading through the texts, I am re-reading them, writing in the margins, underlining sentences that hit hard or are stellar in the way they are written-I am chewing the text through my mind.

The ones that are striked out are the books or pieces that I have read. My idea is that by reading such a wide range of these great writers I’ll be able to pick up on the ways that they have changed and what they learned. In my mind, it is a back alley master class in how to write like the greats. These books won’t be all that I am reading, but my general focus over the next couple of years is to level up my writing.

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