1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    do you read while you write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Hubardo, May 25, 2014.

    meaning, do you read other authors? tad williams, a fantasy author, once said on one of his forums years ago that when he's writing a book he doesn't read because he doesn't want to be influenced so much. i'm reading while writing for inspiration and i'm sure i'm being very influenced, but i'm okay with that because i feel like as such an amateur writer i need the inspiration.
     
  2. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find it impossible not to read while I'm writing. Often, when I'm on a roll, my reading will slow down or stop for a while, but never for too long. I try not to read in the genre I'm writing, but that's the only restriction I put on it.
     
  3. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'll read but I won't read my genre. I started writing again after a brief hiatus (I finished my manuscript and got to a writing dry spell) and I had to put down Game of Thrones because it's too close to my own work.
     
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  4. Xueqin-II
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    Xueqin-II Member

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    I don't believe I've been influenced poorly by reading other authors. Though, when I was much younger it was hard to read other fictions as I would want to replicate their style, as opposed to using one of my own. Luckily I grew out of this.
     
  5. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I have been influenced a few times but I quickly rectify things like that as I do notice them and changing style or things really messes up with my plans.
    But other than that, a good book is a welcome distraction from my own stories.
     
  6. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    Always. Every single time. Yes.
     
  7. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read all the time. It doesn't affect or influence my writing.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto last two posts...

    i love to read fiction, so i read daily[ always a few pages before falling asleep, sometimes more during the day], regardless of whether i'm writing something at the time, or not...
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Michener once wrote much the same, but he was referring solely to works of fiction on the same subject. I would think that anyone who loves the written word would find it impossible to go any appreciable time without reading. I know I couldn't.
     
  10. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I write all the time, so if I didn't read while writing, I would never read! :p I'll read whatever genre, too, because authors only influence me over a period of a couple of months, not over a few days.
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I read always. There's no way around it. Does it influence me? Sure. My reading stimulates ideas even if I'm not conscious of it - the same happens to all of you, I'm sure, whether you admit it or not.

    But it doesn't really influence my prose style, because at the start of each writing session, I reread my own previous day's work (sometimes the whole previous week's). That washes the taste of other people from my mouth and I'm once again me. :)
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Writers are also influenced by life. Shall we give that up, too?

    Yes, I still read when I'm working on writing something.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    I'm too new of a writer to be concerned about what I might learn from other works while I'm writing mine. I read with an eye for what I can learn.
     
  14. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Haven't done much reading lately (more due to a lack of books than anything else), but I don't stop reading just because I'm sitting down writing.
    Sure it might influence things, but that's part of the challenge, is it not? To take that influence and use it to create something unique!
     
  15. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    I often find I do m best writing when I've been reading a lot. So when I write, I don't mind reading. It keeps the brain active even when I don't have ideas to write. It's good to step outside of our own small worlds and appreciate other works, even if we're writing. To each his own, for sure, but I think I've learned enough to recognize when I've been influenced. I'm sure, if I read the right stuff it'll be for the better.

    Just remember this: you will only develop your own voice and style by writing. You are in control, to a degree, of how much you allow the influence to take effect in your work.
     
  16. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, I read while writing. I have to, otherwise eventually the well will dry up and I will find myself with no more words to write down. I read both the same genre and other books and I have never experienced that they would influence me negatively. Actually, reading while writing helps me in so many ways.
     
  17. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Reading&writing, yeah! And aside from lifting plot points or copying style (which I hopeful grow out of) I relish any literal influence coming from a good book. You listen in to language, you feel the living structure of the writen word, you embrace the poetry, immerse yourself in language and it really helps harnessing the productive energy.
     
  18. Want2Write
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    Want2Write Member

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    Big and Bold YES! Without reading the product of my efforts spent on the keyboard would be nothing better than just worthless papers strewn all over the floor. Reading different authors gives me assurance in a way such as 'aww thats well put, I can too transform my xx plan in words and I dont have to bin it because I thought it can never be written'. Reading good books, and stories written by good writers shows me that how much research they have did for the book. When I learn that an author has read so much to explain even the tiniest detail in the story, it would hit a nail on my head if I just skipped a part with little explanation because I was too lazy to explore the subject. By reading the boldness of the author in writing controversial topics, I learned that people hardly judge the authors with the written pages. I read, read and read - after all reading and liking the books made me wanting to write. When I dont read, the fire in me pushing me to write fades! I experienced that to a great extent last year when my little girl came to the world. I lost the sense of the world around me and concentrated only on the baby. DIdnt touch a book, or read a para. After months when I wanted to draft a one line email to my coworker I was at loss for words. That's when I ralised, if I ever want to finish a book, I have to read many many many books, and never stop reading! To answer your doubt, yes, my writing would be influenced by the author's style. Others may oppose strongly on my opinion, yet according to me, I dont see anything wrong with that. During editing phase, we may be reading some other books of some different author. I might re-frame the sentence to my current liking. But overall, its my thoughts, my ideas, and finally my style would be formed when I finish the book, and go for submission. I am confident of that.
     
  19. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    I read every single day whether I am writing or not. I do not believe that I have ever been influenced by another writer's voice. Well, perhaps before I found my own. I think all writing is influenced by other writing in some way or another, unless the writer never reads.
     
  20. Awesome101
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    Awesome101 New Member

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    I do. However, I do try to cut back I'm influenced rather greatly and I'm always afraid my own work won't come off as genuine to me.
     

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