Which helped me become a better writer

Even though I teach people how to be better writers, whenever they ask me what they need to do to write well, there’s one thing I never fail to tell them to do. That thing is reading novels…voraciously. I make it clear to them that reading novels is fundamental. Note that I’m not just telling them to read voraciously. I highlight the reading of novels.

Other types of books are good. Magazines, newspapers and magazines are also good. But if you want to write in a persuasive way; if you want your readers to read your works from cover to cover; if you want to hold your audience captive; if you want to entertain your audience, not just educate and bore them, the solution is simple: read novels.

And what kind of novel is it? Any kind of novel would do. Any novel that matches your spirit. Any novel that has an interesting story. Any novel that can keep you captivated. Read as much as you can. Read them all the time. Immerse yourself in the narrative. In a few years you will see the effect.

Why is reading a novel so magical? First, of all the essay forms, the narrative is the most interesting. Of all the books available in the world, only stories can make someone miss a meal or a meeting or sleep. Other forms of essay writing (descriptive, argumentative, informative, etc.) may excite the reader, but the reader can always pause to attend to other matters. But a gripping story can keep a reader up all night. Something magical happens to the reader as this happens. Even the reader will not be aware that something is happening inside. That is why Jesus taught with comparisons. You might forget the advice, but it’s hard to forget the story. Whenever you remember the story, remember the advice it contains. The story makes the advice even more attractive and appealing.

Second, stories are read for fun. Other forms of writing are usually intended for education. Unlike other forms of writing, the novel does not announce that it wants to teach something. Readers therefore do not feel that they are learning while reading the story. The message conveyed by the novel is subtle, but hard to forget.

Furthermore, only in stories does the reader come across dialogue or conversation. When people communicate in real life, they don’t use essay statements. But they use the dialogue they find in the stories. “Why didn’t the doctor come today?” is a question that can be used or adapted to a real-life situation. This teaches the reader that it is not correct to say: “The doctor has not come” or “The doctor has come”. Nothing teaches correct language like a novel. The best grammar and composition book can’t come close to the innate ability to teach the language of a novel. It is superb because it does its job subtly. He does not announce that he wants to teach grammar and its rules. It just effortlessly instills it in the reader.

In addition, the novel feeds the reader with excess words and their use. In most cases, the reader does not need to check the meaning of such words in the dictionary. Imagine you are reading a passage describing an avalanche or tsunami. Despite not having come into contact with such a word before, the reader can visualize it and remember it forever. In this way, the reader collects many words as well as figures of speech. These words and expressions are engraved in the reader’s subconscious. The reader may not even know they are there. It is only when the reader wants to write or speak that the words begin to crawl to the reader’s surprise. In most cases, the reader has so many options to use to describe something that it can even lead to confusion. The bottom line is that a person who reads novels voraciously is never at a loss for words. Reading novels gives you a rich vocabulary.

Because of the command of language that reading novels gives novel readers, they tend to speak with confidence. A heart filled with confidence—not arrogance—makes for persuasive writing. Such a mind is not shy to explore and show.

Also, through novels you can visit different countries and cities, experience different cultures, learn different professions, experience different climates and weather conditions, enter the minds of different types of people and experience various experiences that you may never be able to experience in real life. With such knowledge of different spheres of life, the reader of the novel is always full of ideas. Every time something comes up, the reader of the novel has a parallel experience from the novel to draw from. The mind of a novel reader is always imagining things, creating scenarios and bringing different perspectives to problems, thereby adding some freshness to things.

My research of 30 years has shown that a person who reads newspapers every day can be well informed about events in the nation and the world, but in terms of knowledge of the spoken and written language, he cannot compare with a person who has read at least a novel or novel. week. I have never seen anyone who reads novels voraciously without being wonderful in speaking and writing. And when a person reads novels and non-fiction, such a person becomes not only well-rounded, but brilliant.

So, at whatever age, if you want to be a fiction writer, read a novel a week. He did wonders for the great writers of the world. It worked wonders for a village boy like me whose parents didn’t finish primary school. Whenever I teach people how to write well, I recommend voracious reading of novels. Once that foundation is in place, other things become easier.

When I finished elementary school and went on vacation while I was waiting for the result of the joint entrance exam that would enter me into high school, my older brother gave me some novels, among which Čike and Rijeka written by Chinua Achebe, Eze goes to school Onuora Nzekwu and Michael Crowder, and Animal farm George Orwell. I started with Animal Farm, but the language was beyond my understanding. Until then I had not read any novel except My Book of Bible Stories. Therefore, my vocabulary was stingy.

it worked out for me Animal farm and went for Čike and Rijeka. It blew me away. I’m reading Eze goes to school. It enchanted me. I’m back in Animal farm but still he could not go beyond the first page. After returning from vacation, I looked for other small novels in my older brother’s library, such as Lamb stories by Shakespeare. From there, I started borrowing or exchanging novels with classmates and friends. The more novels I read, the more I wanted.

Something magical happened to me. My written English has improved. My spoken English has improved. My vocabulary has exploded. My horizon and imagination expanded. My fear of public speaking disappeared. Teachers started using my scripts as examples in class.

For those who have a bad attitude towards reading novels, let 2023 be the year of turning over a new leaf. If we have to bring the book back to Nigeria and Africa; if we have to improve people’s writing skills, reading novels is the key. And just as they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I say a novel a week keeps the pen talking.

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