I admit it . . . I haven't been reading much fiction lately. I am in a crazed nonfiction mode for about a year and a half now, going through all kinds of odd things as the mood -- or the need for research. I have an idea for something Sumerian or Akkadian in one of my novels, so I pulled some books off my personal library shelf and piled them up (see picture). I've read about half of these in past years, and read another recently that isn't now on the pile. I'll be going back through even the ones I read. But it's dangerous.
I get ideas from nonfiction far more than I do from fiction, television, movies or music. Or life, for that matter, but that's because I have no life. Picking up a nonfiction book is a minefield of dangerous plot bunnies ready to leap out at every page. I keep the Post-it flags ready to mark things. Sometimes they're even helpful for the stuff I'm currently working on.
An eight volume history of World War I lead to a huge Inter-stellar war. A wonderful book on Disraeli lead to Silky, one of my most popular books.
I believe in going to the source to get ideas. I don't want to mimic someone else's fiction idea and make a derivative work, so I read nonfiction work (mostly history but some science) as much as I can. And besides, I enjoy it. I'm fascinated by what we've learned about people who lived five thousand years ago, and how oddly like us they were, despite the lack of technology. The little message written clay, the epics carved in stone -- fascinating things.
But I do read fiction now and then, too. A lot of it lately has been on my Nook and a great deal from FM Writers as I'm able to buy their work. We have a lot of talented writers on the site. I would love to see some sort of Forward Motion Authors reading group get started.
There's just too much and not nearly enough time to read them all, though! My house is filled with books everywhere. I need more time!
If you want to get to read about nearly twenty other writers, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. Be sure to read tomorrow's post by Sharon Kemmerer