Tricks of the Trade: Reading to Become a Better Writer

Reading to become a better writer is essential when working in this field. Writing is a skill that has to be worked on constantly and consistently, and reading is one of the easiest ways to do that. Sometimes, writers get quite nearsighted, and they lose sight of what works in their writing and what doesn’t. After writing for an extended period, it’s essential to step back and reflect. Reading is one of the most enriching and easiest ways to enhance your scriptwriting. Learn more below about how reading to become a better writer can benefit you. 

Reasons Why Reading to Become a Better Writer is Essential

There are many benefits to reading in general; it expands your vocabulary, sharpens your grammar skills, and is a fun intellectual hobby. However, when you’re reading to become a better writer, the benefits increase tenfold. Not only are you sharpening your mind, but you are subconsciously learning a lot of new skills with minimal effort. Reading allows you to go beyond the surface level and get in-depth with a subject. You can learn many things from videos and classes, but elective reading is the ultimate form of active learning. Even if what you’re reading isn’t well written you can still become a better writer. By consuming more content, both good and bad, you’re able to point out flaws in storytelling. You learn what works and what doesn’t and that is an essential skill in being a screenwriter. 

By reading and translating what you read into your script, you are more engaged and more likely to retain the information you read. 

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of reading to become a better writer. 

Exposure to New Writing Styles

General reading or script reading exposes you to new writing styles and techniques. Trends are constantly changing, and it’s essential to stay up to date on the latest scriptwriting practices. For example, you may notice new ways to pace the storyline or spice up the exposition when reading new writing styles. By doing this, you also learn what authors do best, and in the future, you can refer back to those authors to see how their styles have changed over time.  

Reading a new style may also help you with writer’s block. It’s very easy to get stuck in a cycle of what you know. One of the best ways to break that cycle is to try something new. 

Inspires New Ideas

Any writer knows that writer’s block can happen at any point. There are many different ways to overcome writer’s block, but one of the most effective ways is to become inspired. Reading is one of the easiest ways to become inspired to do your writing. When reading new scripts, try reading something out of your comfort zone. You may find something interesting that you would’ve never discovered before. In addition, by reading different genres, you learn the mechanics and skills of various writing styles, allowing you to incorporate them into your writing better. 

Many writers set aside time for writing, editing, and rewriting, but they also set aside time for reading. Reading is just as critical as the other aspects of the craft. Many of today’s great writers were inspired by the writers who came before them. Reading great works creates a cycle of inspiration, and one day someone may be inspired by your work as well. 

Develop New Skills

Reading others’ writing is the best way to develop new skills. By continuously consuming content written in the same format, you learn grammar, formatting, and so much more. For example, dialogue can be tough to understand how to format, but continuous reading will help you overcome those struggles. Often in scripts, new writers tend to write dialogue in a robotic manner rather than how people would naturally speak to each other. By reading professionally produced scripts, you’ll be able to write more natural dialogue. 

Formatting is another aspect of scriptwriting that new writers tend to struggle with. A scripts format is much different from a novel, and there’s a learning curve when learning how to write a script. However, reading will allow you to understand the dos and don’ts of formatting, and you’ll begin to develop your style after analyzing other writers’. 

Consuming more content via reading will only help you in the long run. As you enjoy more novels and scripts, well and poorly written, you train yourself how to write better. When all is said and done you’ll be a better writer for all your efforts. 

Expand Your Vocabulary

By reading more, over time, you begin to expand your vocabulary. It’s always best to have a robust vocabulary because it keeps your writing fresh and exciting and prevents you from repeating yourself constantly. Good writers use words well, and they make intentional choices by using specific words. A loaded vocabulary isn’t used for fluff or intellectual prowess; it’s used intentionally.

While reading, take your time to understand each phrase you’re going over. You can even highlight words or phrases that you find particularly interesting or thought-provoking. Over time you’ll come to incorporate these profound words and phrases into your writing seamlessly, and whoever is reading it will be thankful for it. 

Find a Writing Process That Works for You

By reading books, scripts, or books about scripts, you will ultimately come to develop a process that works for you. Everyone’s scriptwriting process is different, and by reading, you can learn what others do and apply it to yourself. It may take some trial and error to figure out what works, but you can make it fun! Document your writing process and see why it worked or didn’t.  As you continue in your writing career, you may find that something that didn’t work when you were younger is excellent for you now. 

Get Your Script Reviewed and Read Others’ with ScriptMother Today

Reading has many benefits besides just helping you become a better writer. It provides stress relief, mental stimulation, memory improvement, and more. However, reading can only benefit you in the long run, and once you’ve developed your script, upload it to ScriptMother to have it peer-reviewed! ScriptMother is an all-in-one peer review service that allows you to have your script reviewed, view other scripts, get discovered, and more! Whether you’re a professional writer or just beginning to dip your toe in the world of scriptwriting, ScriptMother is the best place to start. Create an account today and start raising your script the right way.