How Much Did You Love It?

By: Aryanne Ferguson

Hello, Reader. My name is Aryanne and I’m happy to introduce myself to you as a blogger for August Rose Press. At one point, I went to school to learn about all things fiction (shout out to Hollins University), and I can’t say I came anywhere close to all things, but I did gain a love of reading and writing about the act of writing – I’ve been doing it ever since. For August Rose Press, I’ll post twice a week (starting today!), in hopes that we can learn from each other.

What I learned in school:

If you want to write, you have to read. I’m not talking about reading the newspaper. I’m not talking about the bumper stickers pasted onto car in front of you. I’m talking about reading the kind of stuff you want to write.

Let’s say you’re like me and you want to write something that is all at once beautiful, heartbreaking, real, and full of so much wisdom that your readers tremble before emotionally breaking down under the weight of such truth. You’re convinced you literally haven’t lived enough to write it yet. Then you read Danielle Evans’s 2010 short story collection, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, and she did it! She did what you wanted to do. You love her book so much that you write about exactly why, how, where, when you love it. Before you know it, you’re analyzing theme, characterization, setting, voice, even how she incorporated poetry into her stories.

That’s the kind of reading I’m talking about.

Back in college, I read so many books, I forgot them. So I bought a pretty blank book. Every time I finished a novel or short story collection, I wrote at the top of the page: the title, the author, the year it was published, and the date I finished reading it. Below that, I wrote my take on how the book worked and/or didn’t work. On the back of the page, I transcribed favorite passages from the book, paragraphs and phrases I didn’t want to forget. I still do this today, although I’m nearing the end of my second pretty blank book.

So readers, does this sound like something worth your time?  How do you learn from reading? Tell us all about if on our facebook page:

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