5 Reasons Why Writers Should Read Fiction 109

5 Reasons Why Writers Should Read Fiction

This article was written by Michelle Brooks, a writer and blogger who specializes in education, freelance and self-development.

I’m one of those people who want immediate results and measurable growth from every book I choose to invest my time and resources. My shelves are full of non-fiction literature. It helps me gain a better understanding of writing, leadership, history, theology and marketing.

I used to read fiction just for entertainment. Now I understand the values it can bring for me as a writer.

Before I share it with you, I must say that reading by itself doesn’t do the magic. You should be an active reader. Here are some tricks from EssayPro professional writers that could help:

1. Highlight the passages that are so flawlessly written that you’ like either to reread them or write something similar to it.

2. Keep a reading journal. It’ll encourage you to analyze the book accurately rather than simply consume it.

3. Avoid retelling the plot. Focus on the writer’s language and techniques. If you’re able to adapt it as your own, your writing skills will improve greatly.

Whether you’re a student writing academic papers, a beginner who’s just taking a shot at this craft, or an experienced blogger who makes money from content creating, you should read fiction. There’re five reasons for that:

1. Reading can provide you with inspiration.

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I decided to start writing short stories after I’d read Émile Zola’s “Germinal”. The masterful way in which the author captured the miners’ story immediately brought me into the novel. And the book kept me hooked till the very last word.

We can’t remain indifferent when we read prose or poetry created by the lord of the words. We experience various feelings, from joy to tears, from empathy to hatred. Our emotions break free.

Unfortunately, some of the novels were so dull that I stopped reading them after a few chapters.

If you don’t want to repeat my mistakes, choose fictional works by prominent writers. Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare, Scott Fitzgerald, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and other legends of the literary world won’t disappoint you.

2. You get a bunch of neat language techniques to imitate.

Reading enriches your vocabulary. Each time you sit down to read, you’re developing a stronger grasp of language and how to work with words. Thus, you can express your ideas more clearly.

Reading can teach you to compose powerful sentences. Fiction doesn’t accept the boring, straightforward way to convey information like most students usually do in college paper writing. Analyze the passages you like best. What makes them sound interesting and unique?

It’s hard to imagine a novel without dialogues. The readers want to hear people speak, so that they may understand what causes their actions and where it might lead. The harmonic interplay of narration and dialogue create scenes that engage the audience.

When analyzing dialogues, focus on:

  • Speech peculiarities (the unique catch-phrases or dialect words that characters use)
  • Integration (the way the dialogue is implemented in the scene).

While reading provides you tools to imitate, it’s important not to linger on this stage. The final goal of copying the works of others is to develop your own voice and style.

3. You learn to season your plot.

If you read (or watched the filmed version of the book) Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane, then you know what is a hardboiled plot. Fiction writers add twists and mystery into their stories. These are the elements of foreshadowing.

It’s easier to see how an author used it on your second read of a book. Then you can spot cause-and-effect relationships.

The most popular devices to empower you plot are the following:

  • Chekhov’s Gun is advice given to other writers by Anton Chekhov: “If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.” If you introduce a physical object early in the story, show its significance later.
  • Symbolism helps to create an atmosphere. Like black ravens circling in the sky before the tragedy.

So, take your favorite novel, read one-fourth of the content, and write around 5 bullet points about how the plot is set up. Make your own writing more persuasive developing the dynamics of your narration.

4. You understand how to create vivid images.

environment conducive to learning

The best writers employ all five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell) to make their story true to life.

Fiction writers use inventive sensory depictions. They replace sensory clichés with creative descriptions.

Instead of saying: “she sang awful”, they’d rather say: “her voice sounded like a ghost in the old castle”. It’s actually an illustration of a well-known “show, don’t tell” technique. You probably used it in your academic essay writing.

To understand how it works, open any novel on the page full of sensory descriptions. Write out all the types of the senses used there. For each type, make a list of the examples of how it creates atmosphere, describes the emotions of the characters, or performs any other function.

5. You discover how to mix humor into your writing.

Humor pleases everyone. The success of injecting it in prose fiction depends on the creative style of the author and the purpose of comedy in a particular scene.

Humor is used to:

  • arouse a reader’s interest in a story
  • sustain attention
  • help the reader connect with characters
  • create images in reader’s mind
  • make the story more memorable
  • make the reader feel good.

Humor in fiction takes the forms of irony, satire, hyperbole, understatement, incongruity, wordplay, etc.

To learn to be funny with words, read “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger or “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain. Identify literary devices utilized to bring humor to these works.

When you start adding humor to your own literary piece, make sure you don’t overuse it.

Reading lets you understand why successful novels work. Once you discover how famous authors dealt/deal with writing, you can apply the same techniques to your essays, blog posts, or novels. Read more fiction to refine your writing style!

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5 Online Degrees That Pay Well and Lead to Great Employment Opportunities 4

5 Online Degrees That Pay Well and Lead to Great Employment Opportunities

Online programs range from diploma mills employers knowingly screen against to brand name universities issuing degrees equally valued by employers and employees. But many online degrees teach you skills employers will readily pay a premium for and will give you great employment opportunities.

Here are the 5 best online degrees for employment.


We still pay people quite a bit of money to keep track of our money, whether as individuals or organizations as a whole. Those with a degree in accounting earn more than the average person with a business degree.

If you upgrade to a master’s degree in accounting, you’re well on your way to a lucrative position as a CPA.

If you specialize in tax accounting, you would work as a tax preparer full time or seasonally, while those working in bookkeeping are well paid whether working full time or part-time.

If you earn a degree in accounting after working as a life coach or personal development, you could become a personal finance advisor. Or simply work in accounting, a field expected to grow 13% over the next ten years despite the increasing use of personal accounting software.

If you are looking for a reputable online accounting degree, there are a number of Kaplan Online Programs you can choose from which are all highly recommended.


5 Ways to Boost Your Business Revenue

Businesses pay people to find out how to better understand their customers and speak to them. This is why marketing assistants earn thirty to sixty thousand dollars a year, while experienced marketers earn much more.

If you have copywriting skills like determining which keywords should be integrated into a webpage to put it front and center before a target demographic when they’re ready to buy, you’ll make even more.

If you have a track record of success or management skills, you could easily earn a hundred thousand dollars a year running a marketing department. Not only that, but online marketing degrees are highly respected since marketing and other financial degrees transfer very well online.

Human Resources

Human Resources has become far more complex over the past few years as rules and regulations that companies have to abide by exploded in number.

Hiring, firing, promotions, and training have to be done per complex procedures if you want to minimize the risk of a lawsuit. And whether it is required by state law or guidelines set by federal contracts, you have to fill out a number of reports each month, quarter and year on your workforce.

This means that working in HR is no longer something you do when you want a break from ordering office supplies. It requires training in the law, industry-specific software and procedures. If you earn an online degree in Human Resources, you’ll be eagerly sought after by many companies’ personnel departments.

Video Game Design

While Hollywood’s blockbuster seasons get reported on the news, the reality is that people spend several times that much on video games per year. This money is increasingly spent on digital releases over physically purchased game disks, and spending is shifting toward subscription services and apps.

The sheer amount of money means that even free games that make money through advertising or in-game purchases have to look good, while expensive games have to offer rich visuals to keep the audience engaged.

This has led to the appearance of video game design and video game arts as its own degree program, separate from the general graphic arts. If you have this expertise, you’ll find decent paying jobs with a number of companies as well as gaming app startups. And this degree means you don’t have to spend a lot of time learning to code, either.

Not only that, but with an online degree in video game design, you could get the foundation to create your own video game development company, all from the comfort of your home.

Database Administration

IT is a hot degree today, but learning how to code can seem daunting, and staying up to date with the constantly evolving programming languages is a challenge.

Conversely, database software has been relatively stable, and companies are seeing their stored data grow by 10% a year or more. The solution is larger and more complex databases and more database administrators.

If you earn a degree in database administration, you could work in a number of industries. Whether you’re controlling access to product data, managing customer data or mining data from the IoT, you have a good career in IT ahead of you.

And with the advent of Big Data and advanced data analytics, database administration degrees should continue to be in high demand for years to come.

All these careers have great prospects and adapt themselves very well to online education. This will not only mean that employers will be more inclined to consider you but will give you the same full spectrum of skills any traditional degree would.

Online programs range from diploma mills employers knowingly screen against to brand name universities issuing degrees equally valued by employers and employees. But many online degrees teach you skills employers will readily pay a premium for and will give you great employment opportunities.  Here are the 5 best online degrees for employment.