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DIY MFA by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Gabriela Pereira

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Chapter 19

Read Like a Writer

Reading for pleasure is great. There are few things I enjoy more than lying on the beach with a mai tai in one hand and a Kindle in the other. If you want to be a writer, though, you need to read like a writer, and that is a very different proposition. Reading like a writer means that you don’t read just to find out what happens next in the story. You must read to figure out what the writer is doing and how she achieves a particular effect. But before we get to how, we must answer two fundamental questions: “What?” and “Why?”

Let’s Start with the Basics

When you read like a writer, you must first determine what the author is saying. Who are the characters? What’s happening in the story? When and where does the story ...

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