Reading IS Fundamental

Remember the old RIF commercials? The ones where people would hand out books and tell kids that "reading is fundamental"? Well, don't feel bad. They weren't nearly as catchy as selling Pepsi with shots of the bare midriffs pop mini-divas. Still, that tag line got stuck in my head and stayed with me: Reading IS fundamental -- especially to writers.

Writers read. There's no way around it. And good writers read a lot. They're the kind of readers who can't eat cereal without reading the back of the box, even when it's full of boring health facts and that pyramid food chart. They're the kind of readers who skim even medical journals or GOOD HOUSEKEEPING (though they prefer HIGHLIGHTS if it's available!) while they're waiting in the doctor's office.

But if you want to bone up on your fiction-writing skills, that Captain Crunch or GOOD HOUSEKEEPING may not be the best use of your reading time. Why not check out a few books on the craft or writing?

The A-List

Two particular volumes no serious writer should be without are:

Hands down, these are the two most helpful books about writing that I've ever read. Period. And I'm not making a cent off that endorsement.

More great writers guides

Some other great resources I've checked out and recommend include:

Writing in tights

Some other helpful books for understand the genre of superheroes and comics influence are:

Yeah, yeah, I know they're books about comics, and we publish short stories. But storytelling is storytelling is storytelling when it's done right, and these four guides help you see how to do it right. (Now we could tell you to avoid HOW TO DRAW COMICS THE MARVEL WAY, but we figure you are already smart enough to know that...).

So, next time you have to hit up the local medical practitioner for an expensive prescription request, don't waste your time on those picked-over copies of PEOPLE from 1986. Take a good book on the craft of writing. After all, with that family of five in line before you, you'll make it through at least three chapters easily.