I finished reading The Fox last night.
Just in time, too. I have to generate three story ideas for the How to Think Sideways course I’m taking, and start revisions on Season of Rains. Not to mention writing one of the many short stories are that trying to beat their way out of my skull (“hey, it’s dark and cold in here!”).
Here is another reason why I read so much non-fiction these days: novels, especially fantasy ones, interfere with my ability to write my own work. When I read something as immersive and engaging as say, The Fox, it takes up all my headspace and crowds my own stories to the corners (“help, we’re being squished!”). It’s far too easy for my writing to be influenced by what I’m reading, especially if the novel I’m reading happens to be in the same genre I write in. For instance, right now I want to write about pirates (arr!) and sea battles and such, even though my knowledge of all things nautical would quite easily fit in something small, like the eye of a needle.
I became a writer of fantasy because I was first and foremost a great reader of the genre. And, ironically, I need to read less of it in order to protect my own work. (And, I should say, also in order to have time to write my own work!).
It doesn’t mean that I’m going to give up on fantasy. I’ve just gotten much much more pickier about which books in the genre I read.
Has anybody else experienced this?