Fantasy Writing: Reading Outside Your Genre Helps Your Writing

I recently posted this discussion over at Mythic Scribes. If you’d like to join in, you can follow it here: The Reasons for Reading Outside Your Genre.

By the way, this is a great place to discuss fantasy fiction. If you’re not already a member, join us! (One of us, one of us…)

Here’s what I said:

I’m finding myself more and more attracted to non-fantasy writing. Don’t get me wrong, fantasy is and always will be my number one love, but I’m just currently more interested in work outside the genre. I often hear the advice that reading outside your genre is a good thing. I guess I never really considered that until I delved more into this recently.

Here are some reasons I think it’s a pretty good idea to not only read fantasy work to improve your writing:

1. It gives you new and unique perspectives you may not be getting from fantasy. If the majority of what you read is epic fantasy, reading a mystery or horror book might help give you some new insight into characters’ minds.

2. It doesn’t box you into the “fantasy writer” mold. Meaning you may not fall into the traps of producing the same kind of work over and over if you can draw inspiration from other sources.

3. Other genres may focus on certain elements more that you hadn’t considered. For example, SF focuses on what could be, romance on love, and horror on the things that scare us.

Do you find yourself drawing inspiration from outside the genre on occasion? What reasons would you give for reading other types of books to help your writing?