Study Nonfiction to Strengthen Your Fiction

Find the experts on your subject and incorporate their work into yours

Wake Up and Write is a regular advice column from Moms Don’t Have Time to Write. Today, we have Kiley Reid —winner of the Truman Capote Fellowship and author of the debut novel Such a Fun Age — who shared writing advice on the podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books, hosted by Zibby Owens.

“Oh, man, I hate saying it because it’s so trite, but reading and writing all the time.”

“This is one of those cool professions where you can try and copy what other people are doing with your own style attached to it. That can only improve your writing. It all impacts everything else you’re doing as you learn to get rid of old habits and get better ones at the same time.

The best advice I could give for someone as a writer is to read nonfiction. It is something that I thought I would never be doing. In my twenties, as I get interested in something, there’s always an expert who’s explored that world. I would say to find the experts and take their work and put it into your fiction.”

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