To Read Or Not To Read

Okay, I apologize for the title, but I'm a big Shakespeare fan and since I'm an English teacher, I should be. However, the subject of reading while trying to write is a tricky one. Should we read books that are a different genre then what we are writing?

If I am reading a historical and writing a historical, will the tone, ideas, and characterization seep into my writing? I tend to think not. Mainly because I feel that all authors have their own writing "voice". My tone would not mimic the other authors writing because if it did, wouldn't it be a carbon copy of the book? Also, many writers plan their plot, GMC, and characterization prior to writing and that helps direct them more than reading another book.

I do find reading books of the same genre I am writing beneficial because it tells me what editors have purchased and perhaps their manuscript personality. I may have in insight to a specific editors love of Pirates or Highlanders. Also, books do have a tone. Are they funny? Highly sensual? Or over-the-top dramatic? When searching for a publisher, these are all things to consider before submitting a book. I've done workshops on targeting your manuscript and truly investigating a publisher is important so you are not wasting your time or the editors time.

So, what is your opinion? Do you find it distracting to be reading and writing in the same genre?

That's it according to Maddy ~


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