So far in this essay I have named a number of well-respected creative nonfiction writers and discussed their work, which means I have satisfied the fourth "R" in our "5R" formula: "Reading." Not only must writers read the research material unearthed in the library, but they also must read the work of the masters of their profession. I have heard some very fine writers claim that they don't read too much anymore - or that they don't read for long periods, especially during the time they are laboring on a lengthy writing project. But almost all writers have read the best writers in their field and are able to converse in great detail about the stylistic approach and intellectual content. An artist who has never studied Picasso, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, even Warhol, is an artist who will quite possibly never succeed.
Take a yellow "Hi-Liter" or Magic Marker and leaf through your favorite magazines - Vanity Fair, Esquire, The New Yorker or Creative Nonfiction. Or return to favorite chapters in previously mentioned books by Dillard, Ackerman, etc. Yellow-in the scenes, just the scenes, large and small. Then return to the beginning and review your handiwork. Chances are, anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of each essay, short story, novel selected will be yellow. Plays are obviously constructed with scenes, as are films. Most poems are very scenic.
Condivi describes Michelangelo's first essay in sculpture as a head of an aged faun with a front tooth knocked out, this latter point having been an afterthought suggested by Lorenzo de Medici.