Why Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Should Read Other Stories in Their Genre

Science fiction and fantasy author William F. Wu says the best way to start writing in these genres is to know what happened before you. Knowing what authors in the past have done can be a good jumping-off point for two reasons:

  1. There may be an idea from the past that you could expand upon or approach differently, to offer a fresh perspective.
  2. You want to avoid totally copying a past author’s idea or concept. Wu once attended a panel where an author said he was the first fantasy writer to explain the difference in mass and weight when comparing a human to a transformed werewolf. But many audience members already knew that another author had done this in the 1950s. Making that false statement could be a hit to the author’s credibility.

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