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Read What You Want to Write

Should one read what one wants to write or should one read a variety to further what they want to write?

My initial reaction: variety.

Why? As an English student, I used to be offended by professors who trash talked genre fiction.

I am less offended now.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy genre fiction (a lot), especially science fiction and fantasy. However, I have a weird, loving relationship with literary classics from Nabokov as well as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Pushkin, etc. I enjoy an occasional recent “literary” read as well.

It comes down to prose. There are great genre prose writers out there, but most genre fiction is mostly great story writing. In contrast, most literary fiction is made up of damn good prose.

I think I will continue to read a little of everything with the hope that it in some way helps my writing.

Thoughts?

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  1. January 14, 2015 at 9:01 AM

    Write what you enjoy writing, is always a good response, a bautuful sentence is a gem no matter where it us found, and the joy of finding one such beautiful sentence who can say?

    • January 14, 2015 at 6:19 PM

      A perfect sentiment. Beautiful sentences transcend genre.

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