Sunday, 11 February 2018

Why Writers need Reading Groups :Misha Herwin.






A couple of months ago a message was sent round on Nextdoor Basford, our neighbourhood website asking if anyone would be interested in joining a reading group. I already belong to one which I’ve been going to for about eight years, but this was local and I decided to give it a go.

My reasons for joining were various. I liked the idea of connecting with more of my neighbours, finding people I have interests in common with and possibly even making new friends. On a more pragmatic level, the more people I got to know the greater the pool of potential buyers and readers of my books.

Also and this is what swayed me, every writer needs to belong to a reading group and this one was not going to be exclusively female so there should be a variety of viewpoints and attitudes to books.
And it is what readers think and expect of books that should matters to a writer, at least if you want to sell your work.  

At our first meeting people talked about how they needed to relate to a character in a novel, or they lost interest. They talked about the hooks that got them into the story, what kept them reading and what they think of series of novels. This last was of particular interest. One person said that she likes series, gets into the books and enjoys the first few, then after a while as the characters and situations become more familiar the novels lose their tension.

In subsequent sessions I’m hoping that we will be discussing books in detail, so I will learn more about what works and doesn’t work and more importantly why.

So, here’s looking forward to our next meeting. More stimulating company, cake and conversation.  
   

3 comments:

JO said...

I agree completely - and I think it goes further than that. I learn as a writer - and I also learn as a reader. By belonging to book groups I have read things I wouldn’t even have looked at before, explored different genres and writers from unknown cultures, and it’s been a joy (even those books that I struggled with).

Fran B said...

My book group has been going for ages. I’ve been a member for ten years. A few years ago, we decided to brave sharing a house together for a long weekend at Wigtown Book Festival. It was such a hit that we’ve been doing it ever since. The only drawback for me, as a writer, is that we have now all become such good chums that an awful lot of time, at our monthly meetings, is spent in general chitchat about our families, our jobs, our holidays, etc and too little on the book in hand! However, it has made me read many books I wouldn’t have thought of reading and I love it for that. Loyally, they have done two of my novels in the past, bless them.

Fran B said...

My book group has been going for ages. I’ve been a member for ten years. A few years ago, we decided to brave sharing a house together for a long weekend at Wigtown Book Festival. It was such a hit that we’ve been doing it ever since. The only drawback for me, as a writer, is that we have now all become such good chums that an awful lot of time, at our monthly meetings, is spent in general chitchat about our families, our jobs, our holidays, etc and too little on the book in hand! However, it has made me read many books I wouldn’t have thought of reading and I love it for that. Loyally, they have done two of my novels in the past, bless them.