It is well documented that if you want to write you need to read, read and read!!!
As much as this is a big help along the path to writing, it is far from the definitive source for all new writers. Reading a book that I really enjoy makes me want to keep reading, it does nothing to stimulate me into further action in my own writing. When I pick up a book that disinterests me I can instantly see the negatives in my own work and I can adapt that and think how I don’t want my manuscript to turn out.
The biggest tip I can offer is observation. Observe your surroundings, family, neighbours, events and the best for me is strangers. Family and friends become predictable over time. Strangers when studied for a brief moment can bring a smile to the face of your characters, can reveal things you had not thought about. Take notes on your fellow passengers on planes, trains and buses on your commute to work. Study your work colleges.
Remember, what you are reading has already been written. Observation is the key!
Reading does help in lots of ways in how to present characters, how to direct your own thoughts and can be an escape for writers block. Writing about an observation a day can help you grow your own characters storyline.
People have told me how much they enjoyed my book, but how do I manage to summon such emotion and characters in what I write. I’m not married and don’t have children, so how did the events in my book come to me. I can say that I have read a lot and enjoyed 90% of what I have read, but I believe that spending a few moments each day, observing people helps develop characters and when you have your characters they write the book for you.
I have a friend who read my book and came back to me very confused. He said that he hadn’t understood what at all was happening. I didn’t explain anything to him but asked how long it had taken him to read the book, he told me a few hours.
It is only 147 pages long so if you read fast you can probably achieve this in a few hours.