Does reading influence writing?

At the moment I am reading (for the fourth or maybe fifth time) Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Stephenson used flashbacks to tell his story often, so that I sometimes forget whether one is in the story-line present or hearing a story from the current point-of-view character’s recent past. It is almost as though a bit of the suspense gets taken out of the story. You know the character survived the bit of the story you are hearing because you are hearing it from their future. This doesn’t always happen in the book, of course. All that to say that my point-of-view character in the NaNoWriMo book I’m writing madly spends most of her time reflecting on her past, so the story we get is not in her present, but in her past. I’m not sure why I decided to tell the story that way. It is one of the things I am already thinking about changing during the December Edit. I realized this morning that there was a similarity to what I had my pov character doing, and what Stephenson does. I wonder if the book one is reading at the moment has more influence that we realize. Things that make you go hmm while writing.


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