I have a handful of books on writing (all Writer’s Digest?) and was wondering how people “use” them to improve their writing. Do you just read the book closely? Do you read it and take notes, then have those notes out when writing (that relevant writing thing)? Do you constantly reread the book?

One of the books is on openings, and I think that’s more straightforward since it’s regarding a specific/limited part of a book. I’m currently halfway through one book on conflict, action, and suspense (I suck at those) and am unsure how to take the advice from throughout the book and implement it to things that similarly should occur throughout the book. Is it like I have a list of things I got from the book and make sure to include all those when writing (or check the list in subsequent drafts)? Should I be so familiar with the topics (rereading the book multiple times?) that I instinctually know what to include or not? If after the current conflict book I read one on writing descriptions, would I have to revisit the contents of the conflict book (and previous ones as well) while going through the description book and practicing writing descriptions? Do I take a later draft and do a pass focusing on improving the conflict, then another pass focusing on the descriptions, then another one focusing on dialogue (book after the descriptions one)?

What do you do to improve from writing books and implement it throughout your writing?

Source: reddit post

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