We learn a lot from observing others. I’ve often thought the most value you can get from a critique group isn’t the critique on your own work but listening to others talk about the work of others. I’ve learned more from the rejections and revisions editors have done on my clients’ books than I ever did as an editor myself. As a writer, re-reading the books you love for technique and style can go a long way in learning how to write your own book.
BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman was a study in technique for me. I was blown away by how Backman created suspense and tension before anything actually happened. I was wowed by the layers he wrote into both the plot and the characters and how he dropped bits and pieces of information that kept you guessing and reading.
Every author should be reading and studying the writing of others. I do it to see how I can be both a better editor and agent and I think each book I read, especially those outside the genre I represent, makes me better at my job.