Read All Forms of The Written Word:
Books aren't the only thing out there...
I feel like as a writer I get very pigeon-holed in what I read. I usually read YA fantasy and not much else. It's lame. I tell myself that I need to be aware of the market and what's out there and what's not... and I do. But I need to do more than that.
Chuck Wendig makes a very good point, one that's never even come up on my radar:
"Those who write books are occasionally “book racists.” They pump their fists and espouse Book Power while denigrating other forms of the written word. “TV will rot your brain,” they might say. As if the Snooki book will somehow do laps around an episode of THE WIRE. Books are not the only form of the written word. You may not even want to write books. Branch out. Watch television. Watch film. Read scripts. Visit great blogs. Play games. Don’t be a book racist. The storytelling cults can learn much from one another."
Fantastic advice! I mean, I think writers tend to forget that there are other forms of the written word out there that have lots to offer. I think watching TV (and not reality TV) is a good way of studying dialogue and characterization. I mean, I don't know about you, but when I watch a Shakespearian play as a movie (you know with the original text - like that version of Romeo and Juliet) I can understand it so much better than just reading it.
Like prose writer's reading poetry, I totally agree with Chuck on this one. There are so many different forms of the written word out there and each has something different to offer. How can reading a script help your fiction? That's not for me to tell you, but give it a shot and see what happens. I know I will.