Nearby, @Duchess-Yukine-Suoh asked a simple question - should she scale back a planned project because she expected that the final work would be rather long? As often happens, here, a simple question becomes more complex, and a whole new fight breaks out. This one concerns what has been a somewhat persistent theme on the forum in recent weeks: whether novice writers are best served by reading "how to" books on writing, or by reading a lot of high quality fiction of varying types. @JayG has stated on several occasions his preference for the former. He points to the fact that, at least in the US, formal secondary education does not instruct students on anything but general expository writing, and therefore the only way for the aspiring writer to learn the elements of successful fiction writing is to read books written by established professors of creative writing at respected universities (or else to attend such university programs). Others, myself included, have pointed to the fact that, up until the last few decades (for the sake of argument, let's say mid-twentieth century), there were no creative writing programs or "how to" books on writing, and yet the realm of literature has been rich, indeed. Moreover, as one's tastes in writing emerge, one will focus on those writers with whom they feel an affinity and whose techniques "work" for them, while no creative writing course or "how to" book could possibly offer such a wide range of approaches. That's important, because, even if the authors of such books do not intend it, many novice writers will take the advice imparted as "rules" and apply them uniformly, which would be anathema to quality writing. I'm not saying that "how to" books are worthless (although some are). I think they have value, as JayG himself said in the Duchess' thread, as a way of showing why certain things work. I certainly would not advise writers to abjure such works, but, like other works of literary criticism, such as Erich Auerbach's classic Mimesis, they should be part of a wider reading program. Alternative views are always welcomed...courteously.