I grew up reading. Reading lots. As a child, Mum would take me to the local library to borrow books; ten at a time. I read everything I could find, sci-fi, adventure, books on chess openings.
The genre I loved most was horror. It felt like I was being led into a world I wasn’t supposed to be in. A door left ajar, and I snuck in without anyone realizing. Authors like James Herbert, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King.
The book I’m reading now is a gripping story by Stephen King, On Writing. Not a fiction story, but rather a tale of how he became an author and how he writes his novels. Part autobiographical, part instruction, all interesting.
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.
This theory is one of the reasons I blog. It gives me a reason to practice writing. Often. The surprise is that it has also increased the amount I read, to the point of requiring investment in more shelf space for books.
On Writing is filled with gems of practical information and inspiration to get started. It helps that the book itself is well written, a good test for a tomb on the craft itself. What to leave out is mentioned; how to avoid too much detail.
Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.