Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Blog Chain Post: Nonfiction and the Fiction Writer

This round of the blog chain was brought to us by Sandra who asks:

We all know it's important to read fiction if you want to write fiction, but what about reading non-fiction? How much non-fiction do you read? What kinds of non-fiction books do you read, and why? Has reading non-fiction influenced your fiction writing style?

Surprisingly enough, I do read a ton of nonfiction. Because of my day job as a professional dog trainer, I'm always reading the latest dog training book. I've always found canine behavior fascinating and I'm a firm believer that, no matter what your trade, you never stop learning. So if there's a new technique out there for modifying behavior, I want to know about it. Likewise, I also want to know the latest discoveries in canine behavior as well as learning applications. Did you know the average canine can learn approximately 200 words? Did you know there's a Border Collie in Germany who uses deductive reasoning to guess the name of a toy its owner never called by name before? Did you know a popular current theory is not that man domesticated the dog but rather, dogs--the opportunists that they are--domesticated themselves for a free meal?

Sorry, I'm a dog nerd and I digress.

Likewise, I read a ton of nonfiction for my writing career as well. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford the $10,000 price tag that comes with a research trip to Japan, so all of my research for the KATANA series had to come through the tons and tons of books I checked out from the library.

And I'm also an avid collector of how-to writing books. Recently I purchased THE EMOTION THESAURUS by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. What a fantastic book! As someone who tends to use the same reactions over and over this book provides authors with a whole array of physical and mental reactions (both short and long term) that a character could have given any emotion. Love, Love, LOVE this book! It's never out of hands reach when I'm writing or revising.

So what about you? What's the last nonfiction book you read?

For more links to the chain, please check out Alyson's post from yesterday and tune in tomorrow for Amparo's post.

Happy Wednesday!

1 comment:

  1. I think it is so cool that you are a dog trainer - if you have any advice for excellent non-fiction reads about how to train an overgrown puppy (specifically my almost 1 yr. old half great dane/half st. bernard) I would love to hear it!

    The emotion thesaurus sounds great too - I am definitely gonna check that out!