Thursday, October 13, 2022

To Read or Not to Read

With only two and a half weeks until NaNoWriMo is upon us (!!!), I'm starting to think about my reading materials in the next few weeks and during November.  My plan was to reread some of my 1920s research materials leading up to NaNo - in addition to reading my own novel, of course.  But now I'm a little afraid I won't have enough time before November to read everything I wanted to.

I also have to decide what to read during the writing process.  I remember reading some author's thoughts on the matter once, saying that they read voraciously while they were planning the novel - research materials, other similar books, etc. - right up until they started writing it.  And then, at that point, they read only other stuff, books that wouldn't be similar enough to what they were writing that it would unintentionally influence them.

I wish I could remember who that was.

Anyway, I know a lot of people don't read at all during NaNo.  They think they can't or shouldn't spare the time away from their novel.  But I'm a voracious reader - I'm always reading something, no matter how busy I get.  Even if it's only for five or ten minutes, I have to read at least a little bit every night.  I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've gone straight to bed without reading, and they've always been because of something extremely out of the ordinary, such as when my horse almost died in the spring.

So my plan is to read a bunch of 20s stuff - both research and fiction, probably - to get me in the mood before November, and then during November I'll try to stick to completely unrelated fiction.

What about you?  Do you read while you're writing a novel, and do you have any rules for yourself about what you read?

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