“A rational fear of plagiarizing, and an individualistic valuation of originality, have stopped many prose writers from using deliberate imitation as a learning tool. In poetry courses, students may be asked to write ‘in the manner of’ so-and-so, or to use a stanza or a cadence from a published poet as a model, but teachers of prose writing seem to shun the very idea of imitating. I think conscious, deliberate imitation of a piece of prose one admires can be good training, a means towards finding one’s own voice as a narrative writer. What is essential is the consciousness. When imitating, it’s necessary to remember the work, however successful, is practice, not an end in itself, but a means towards the end of writing with skill and freedom in one’s own voice.”
– Ursula Le Guin