Sunday, March 25, 2012

Influenced By Reading Same Genre?

Is it a good idea to read books similar to the one you're writing?  I've heard this argued from both sides.  The obvious reason to abstain is the possibility, either conscious or unconscious, of being influenced by the book already in print.

The current mystery I'm writing is set in Amsterdam and although I've lived in Holland, I've forgotten a lot of details about the city.  So, in addition to ordering a couple travel DVD's about the city, I, also, ordered a mystery set in Amsterdam.  The plot and characters were totally different from mine but I found it quite motivational.  Well-written and fast-paced, it made me eager to move on with my own story and get it finished.

What experiences have you had with reading the same genre you're writing?  Does it influence your writing?

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