Comparative reading



When sending out agent queries for one of my own novels recently, I realised that it shares a lot of technical similarities, like genre and target readership, with Harry Potter. So I decided to read and compare its structure to mine, to see if it would suit a similar reader.

It’s always helpful to read other books within the same genre as yours. Even if you like or dislike what another author has done, every book has a lesson to teach you as a reader, and as a writer.

This is also a great trick for writing novels if you want a vague template. If you admire an author’s writing, there’s nothing to stop you using their work as a base for your own. I have recommended titles to some of my coaching clients, for this very reason. You can literally follow their structure chapter by chapter – writing a similar opening, following their rhythm and pacing, and plotting dramatic points in the same places. Have you tried this technique? Is there a book you would like to try this with?

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