Poetry would not appear to be an art form designed to assist fiction and non-fiction writers. There is so little in common. Often it is bound by rigid rules, counting syllables or lines.
But it is an amazing teaching tool. Poets are wordsmiths. Like an artist building a mosaic, they are forced to concentrate on each word and its placement. The meaning, real or implied, infused into each line.
Taking that same care and applying it to short stories or longer pieces brings growth and satisfaction. The piece becomes stronger, with a better voice. The reader more satisfied with the story.
News reporter-style prose, fast paced thriller writing, factual non-fiction, opinionated personal essays, descriptive rambling fantasy…whatever the other members of the group are producing.
All of the material you read has an impact on what you write. The power of suggestion makes it impossible to ignore that reality. But what does that mean?
The more you write and the more you read, the larger and more complex your voice becomes. Like an artist drawing stick figures and line drawings, learning how to make shadows and textures adds a new dimension to your work.
Approach each piece you review as an opportunity for new learning. You are the ‘everyman reader’ assigned to delve into its mysteries.