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susan

Ah yes, I agree wholeheartedly. Poe showed up in my writing for years with the formal language. Just read Steinbeck's The Pearl and started writing fable-like. It's okay, as long as it's recognized and used as an exercise that will be tempered by even more reading; especially, as you say, in other genres.

robin

I once saw Margaret Atwood speak and what really stuck with me is that she said that she reads "everything"... not just high brow lit. Comic books, different genres, teen books, poetry, bestsellers, nonfiction... everything. This really inspired me to abandon my inner literary snob. How liberating!

Cicily Janus

I could never believe that anyone who wants to write "the great novel" would ask such a question. The only way that anyone, in this one persons opinion, can write well, is to read what good writers put down on their pieces of paper.

Most writers that I know read as if it is their last moment on Earth and reading every book that has been written is the only requirement to get into Heaven.

Keep reading, trust me, it will not stifle your "creative process". Pick up a copy of Stephen King's On Writing. It is a marvelous book. I also suggest that you take a look at Crawfords Web post on how to write the novel.

Discipline and creativity combined, as well as reading, reading, reading.....

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