Whether the premise for your manuscript came from a dream or from an event observed in real life, it’s safe to say that inspiration can come from the most unlikely places.
With most established and would-be authors being avid readers themselves, using books as sources of inspiration is a great way to go and may have even sparked your love of writing in the first place. Read on to discover the many ways reading another author’s work can influence your own and how you should use reading to inspire your manuscript.
Reading and taking inspiration from someone else’s work isn’t about imitation or repurposing ideas. By looking at the book you are reading with a critical eye, you can learn a number of lessons to ensure the process of writing your own book goes more smoothly.
By taking inspiration from the books you read, you can analyse how clear the author’s message is, how key points are demonstrated, understand specific tones and styles, and dissect the author’s methodology to shape your own work.
If you’re looking to read books to gather inspiration, don’t stay within the confines of your favourite genres. There’s much to learn from different types of books as well as a broader range of authors. By reading more widely and outside the genre you are targeting you’re less likely to replicate writing styles and ideas.
If you’ve been majorly inspired by the works or writing style of one particular author, don’t be afraid to shout about it. Giving credit to the authors who inspired you, rather than sweep this influence under the carpet, will ensure everyone gets the recognition they deserve.
Whether you’re gathering inspiration from books or multiple sources, keeping your ideas and voice as unique as possible is the key to carving out success as an author. You can be inspired by other authors without their work directly informing your own story with a little creativity and your own distinctive touch.
By staying true to yourself when you plan, pen and edit your manuscript, you can gain the reputation you crave as a self-published author and create something far more superior than the poor imitations already out there. Who knows you could even inspire the next generation of writers!
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