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Influence of Reading on Writing

There have been times in my reading, when I said to myself that I wished I could write like (fill in the blanks of the authors). The problem with that wish is that if one writes like another author, one is being somewhat disingenuous, like taking on someone else's persona, or writing style.

"Good writingà.is closely allied to good reading: both are creative and involve the whole person- emotions and intellect" (Anon 2003 1). The fact is that seeing someone else's construction of character, plot, even sentences and paragraphs, dialogue or paraphrase, can help us become more focused in the sort of writing we do. And yet, there is a danger in trying to become like someone else. Do we want to write mysteries? It won't hurt to read the different types of who-dun-its, from Agatha Christie to Erle Stanley Gardner to Ellery Queen and John Grisham. But, perhaps the worst review a writer could get is if some critic says "He (or she) writes like another Agatha Christie" Or, we could hear that we literally "stole" the plot from Arthur Conan Doyle or Rex Stout.

Perhaps what should influence is perspective. How does a successful author write about his characters and their traits, not merely how he plotted his writing. Thbis perspective comes from our understanding people as people, not just as characters. And, even in college writing courses, this takes the perceptive professor or instructor well beyond merely suggesting that his/her students read. "Our primary goalà, is for students and ourselves to use not only reading and writing but also collaborative inquiry, cognitive dissonance, and critical thinking in order to come to know" (Young 1990 2). In other words, for the aspiring writer, reading is simply one form of getting closer to the subject of successful communication. After all, that is the purpose of writing: to tell a story, to impart knowledge, to get the reader to form opinions, or to bring them to some sort of action. In other w...

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Influence of Reading on Writing. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:08, April 21, 2019, from