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View Full Version : Who inspires you? C&C



gilesth
02-01-2010, 06:18 PM
Last week, while listening to an audio book on the iPod, I started thinking about the short story I'm working on (it's a real process for me - truly painful - unlike novel writing). I came to the conclusion that I'm using two of my favorite authors as inspiration, even though their styles are very different. (If you're curious about my thoughts, I wrote about it in my blog. The link's in the sig.)

So, my question for you is who inspires you? Obviously, it's important to write in your own voice, but who influenced that voice? Do you try to mimic their style as a writing exercise (a common assignment from ANY creative writing professor)? More importantly, do you have more than one author who strongly influences you? What are their most unique features, and how do the two contrasting features compliment your style?

Sevvy
02-01-2010, 06:59 PM
I once had a writing teacher ask us who informed our writing and how, and I really didn't have an answer for that, because I didn't start writing because I read a book and thought "I can do that", but because I started creating characters for RPGs and for fun wrote stories about them.

The one time I tried to immitate one of my favorite authors, it was awful, never again will I do that.

However, if I had to pick authors who, when I read them, make me want to write and be a writer, it would be Neil Gaiman and Ray Bradbury. When I read Bradbury, even just a page, I am awed by how beautiful his prose is while still giving me story. And Gaiman tells the most delightful stories, and it really does feel, when I read his stuff, that I'm sitting around some crazy campfire listening to him tell me a story. His voice is very distinct.

Adam
02-01-2010, 07:06 PM
Terry Pratchett and R.A. Salvatore. Terry for his humour and R.A. for his world building and character development. I've never tried to copy their writing styles. :)

Rarri
02-01-2010, 07:12 PM
Heller and Pratchett. Rowling too, i suppose. As has been said already though, i don't try to copy their styles, but they are an inspiration.

C.M.C.
02-01-2010, 07:53 PM
I can't say I've ever thought about using anyone else as an inspiration. I'm perfectly happy being myself.

gilesth
02-02-2010, 03:36 AM
I can't say I've ever thought about using anyone else as an inspiration. I'm perfectly happy being myself.

I agree...but is there anyone who you admire as a writer who inspires you to write, even if they don't influence your style?

Calla Lily
02-02-2010, 04:18 AM
HP Lovecraft and Charles Dickens. HP because he was the first writer who scared the living daylights out of me and Dickens because he knew how to create the most memorable characters. They both, in their own genres, nailed atmosphere.

C.M.C.
02-02-2010, 07:18 PM
I agree...but is there anyone who you admire as a writer who inspires you to write, even if they don't influence your style?

No. I write for my own reasons, not because I'm chasing after the glory of someone else.

Calla Lily
02-02-2010, 08:04 PM
Hmm. An interesting spin on it, C.M.C. I certainly don't "chase after the glory" of 2 dead guys, :) and early on, when I was still discovering my voice, I did a Lovecraft imitation--and it sucked rocks. Yet I can name half a dozen more writers who inspire me to stretch my boundaries, to dig deeper, to make a reader laugh or cry or be afraid to look behind them in the dark. That's how I interpreted the OP.

gilesth
02-03-2010, 12:24 AM
Hmm. An interesting spin on it, C.M.C. I certainly don't "chase after the glory" of 2 dead guys, :) and early on, when I was still discovering my voice, I did a Lovecraft imitation--and it sucked rocks. Yet I can name half a dozen more writers who inspire me to stretch my boundaries, to dig deeper, to make a reader laugh or cry or be afraid to look behind them in the dark. That's how I interpreted the OP.

You're right on base :) When I was younger, I always wanted to be the "next [name of current popular author]". But the more I think about it, the more I would rather be me. Not known for doing what the other authors did, and not known for "changing the landscape, much like [famous author]".

But at the same time, it wasn't until I started reading that I really started wanting to write. And by reading many different authors, I started to learn what worked and what didn't in my own writing. I certainly can't replicate their voices, but the way they tell their stories still inspires me to be better :D

SirOtter
02-03-2010, 09:05 AM
Raymond Chandler

SirOtter
02-03-2010, 09:07 AM
When I was younger, I always wanted to be the "next [name of current popular author]".

When I told people I wrote horror, they'd ask if I was going to be the Next Stephen King. I told them no, Stephen King was going to be the Old Mark Orr.

Calla Lily
02-03-2010, 04:40 PM
When I told people I wrote horror, they'd ask if I was going to be the Next Stephen King. I told them no, Stephen King was going to be the Old Mark Orr.

:fistpump

Matera the Mad
02-03-2010, 07:55 PM
Too many to list

Shadow_Ferret
02-03-2010, 08:05 PM
No. I write for my own reasons, not because I'm chasing after the glory of someone else.

I don't think the OP was talking about chasing anyone else's glory, merely that as beginning writers we often, consciously or subconsciously, mimic the writing style of writers we admire or who we've read a lot of.

In my own case, I started writing because I had read the writings of Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs and thought I wanted to do that. My first few attempts at writing were what might be called "fanfic" (even though that term wouldn't be invented until decades later).

Today, however, I believe my "voice" is my own. It has evolved over time. But I think my first few pieces were heavily influenced by the writing styles of those two writers--and the horror comics of the day.

C.M.C.
02-04-2010, 01:11 AM
I don't think the OP was talking about chasing anyone else's glory, merely that as beginning writers we often, consciously or subconsciously, mimic the writing style of writers we admire or who we've read a lot of.

I know that was the point being made, and it was the one to which I originally responded.