Posted by: victanguera | April 18, 2011

What’s That You Are Reading?: Writing Prompt #323

Writers need to be readers. I don’t think anyone who gives advice to writers disagrees on this point. The more we read, the more sense we acquire for words, rhythm and what we like/don’t like in a story.

And that makes me wonder why more characters don’t have books on their night-stands, scattered around the living room, on the counter in the bathroom. Some books and movies (think of Unstrung Heros) portray those with books as mentally unhinged. Which is totally unfair considering most of us that write probably have tottering stacks of books in most rooms in our homes.

So for today’s prompt, what books does your character read? Only dry technical journals as part of a job or to delve for information? A murder mystery when your story itself is paranormal? Where do they keep their books? Are the books organized or disorganized?



  1. Very good prompt. I had not really given this enough thought, particularly since some of my characters are avid readers and a couple are even writers. One has even based her life on various fictional detectives, but there’s never any mention of her books.

    She has traveled the world, but where were her books, and where are they now?

    I’ve got some work to do… 🙂

    • Thanks. Little details like that can give our character veracity. I often wonder why it is that we as readers don’t write about characters who are also readers. Maybe because we realize that in the middle of a problem, we are more likely to read than solve someone else’s dilemma.

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