If we want to write well, we need to read both great and poor writing. The great writing gives us an idea of what good writing is. The poor writing shows us what isn’t good writing. To be a good writer, you need to know what is great and what is bad.
There are two ways to learn how to write: by reading and by writing. Both of them are equally important. All it takes to get experience writing is a pen and paper or a word processor and a laptop. As for reading, you read all the best books you can get your hands on. Isn’t that enough?
I don’t think so.
I think a flaw in the way we teach English in America, at least in terms of preparing students to write their own stories and novels, is that we have a bias toward good books. Think about it, what did you read and analyze in high school? Shakespeare? Moby-Dick? Huckleberry Finn? Catcher in the Rye? Chances are, you read nothing but classics. Even if you had a progressive teacher who had you reading current books, I’ll bet they were still award winning and well-written.
There’s nothing wrong with reading…
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