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View Full Version : Who do you WANT to write like?



flapperphilosopher
02-25-2012, 02:50 AM
This is inspired by this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=237757), where you can try a 'who do you write like' generator that kinda randomly gives you authors based on word choice etc. Kinda amusing but pointless.

More interesting, I think, is thinking about who you WANT to write like-- not as in, you consciously imitate their style, but you like a lot of what they do and how they do it and you try and bring some of that to your own work. The author that you would be over the moon if your dream review compared you to: [flapperphilospher]'s work evokes [Ernest Hemingway] in its [wonderfully layered dialogue and grip of subtext].

And don't bother being realistic, shoot high! [I know very well I'm only a tenth as good as ol' Hem, at best! :)]

kuwisdelu
02-25-2012, 02:52 AM
Me.

Mr Flibble
02-25-2012, 02:55 AM
Me.

I answered that to an agent asking me whose writing mine was like (ye olde comparable author thingy). He said 'Good luck with your career'.

I am me, but I'd like to be able to write as well as Bujold, as Kadrey, as Abercrombie, as a myriad of other writers I enjoy. But whatever I wish, I'll still be me. It remains to be seen whether this is a good or bad thing.

Aggy B.
02-25-2012, 03:03 AM
P.D. James. Bujold would be great. Abram Terzt. Stephenson. Zahn. O'Connor. Charles Williams.

But I suspect that I actually write more like Dickens on crack. ;)

KTC
02-25-2012, 03:12 AM
ME.

Drachen Jager
02-25-2012, 03:27 AM
I'm actually really happy with the writing in my latest novel. I have to go with the majority here and say me.

Might I also say how humbled I am that so many people here want to write like me. ;)

thothguard51
02-25-2012, 03:31 AM
I think the me's are ahead. Add one more, me...

Cyia
02-25-2012, 03:37 AM
A best-selling author. :D

flapperphilosopher
02-25-2012, 03:39 AM
Ha, well, yeah, I want to write like ME too-- I look up to Hemingway but I also write differently, no doubt, and I wouldn't have it any other way!!! But really, not many people have an author they'd looooooooove to be compared to [along with the enthuasiastic praise about their own style, naturally!]? I'm kinda surprised! :)

HoneyBadger
02-25-2012, 03:48 AM
Me.

Yeah, I agree with that, but the me that's me and is so rich that I type on rubies and get paid in nations. And also I have a housekeeper. And breed fancy dogs

kuwisdelu
02-25-2012, 03:55 AM
Yeah, I agree with that.

Huh? Don't change my quote!

I don't really care if I make any money from my writing.

HoneyBadger
02-25-2012, 03:57 AM
Well, then. No free fancy dogs for you.

iRock
02-25-2012, 04:20 AM
I'm doing just fine writing like me.

b_radom
02-25-2012, 04:41 AM
I'm not a "me" answer, but I'm not a specific author either. My writing has changed a lot recently -- gotten tighter, grown more modern. I'd like to think that I sound like a completely modernized late-19th Century Science Fiction author, but ultimately that's for others to judge. Maybe I'm something even better than that.

backslashbaby
02-25-2012, 04:47 AM
A cross between Toni Morrison, Garcia Marquez, and Poe, maybe... taken down a notch or two so I could still understand every sentence ;) (Although, I've written sentences that worked that I didn't completely understand, now that I think about it :ROFL:)

CrastersBabies
02-25-2012, 04:58 AM
I answered that to an agent asking me whose writing mine was like (ye olde comparable author thingy). He said 'Good luck with your career'.

I am me, but I'd like to be able to write as well as Bujold, as Kadrey, as Abercrombie, as a myriad of other writers I enjoy. But whatever I wish, I'll still be me. It remains to be seen whether this is a good or bad thing.

I had an agent tell me something similar, that you needed to be able to articulate who you want "join" on the shelf in the bookstore.

People stating that they are "own person" is redundant. It's also painfully obvious. Agents and publishers need to know how to market your book. If I said, "Well, I write like Craster'sBabies," I imagine I'd get laughed out of the room.

But, if I said, "ya know, I'd love to see my work next to Abercrombie's on the shelf. The guy had mad fight/scene, personal narrative skills," yeah, you can do something with that.

jdm
02-25-2012, 05:50 AM
Everyone would like to write in a voice that was so unique it would catch the interest of thousands of readers without mimicking anyone else. But if I found I wrote like McMurtry or Leonard, I certainly wouldn't be unhappy about it. I know I write nothing like them, though, nor any other successful author I am familiar with. Still, it is interesting how everyone wants to be loved for themselves.

kuwisdelu
02-25-2012, 07:37 AM
I had an agent tell me something similar, that you needed to be able to articulate who you want "join" on the shelf in the bookstore.

People stating that they are "own person" is redundant. It's also painfully obvious. Agents and publishers need to know how to market your book. If I said, "Well, I write like Craster'sBabies," I imagine I'd get laughed out of the room.

But, if I said, "ya know, I'd love to see my work next to Abercrombie's on the shelf. The guy had mad fight/scene, personal narrative skills," yeah, you can do something with that.

If someone wants me to list my influences and the writers I'd like to consider my peers, I'd be more than happy to; just use those words.

Silver-Midnight
02-25-2012, 07:53 AM
Well, I don't know if I want to exactly write like another writer. Mostly because that writer was who they were, and I am who I am. I'm pretty sure we're both two different people. As far as my writing, I feel like I've got a lot of work to do with it. So, I don't think my writing is dreadful, but I know that I have to work at it and craft it.

Now, with all of that being said, one of my favorite writers is Kate Chopin. I really like her short stories. That is not to do a disservice to THE AWAKENING, but her short stories are really good. However, I know that I will not end up writing like her. Even if I wrote historical fiction, I probably still won't end up writing like her. However, that's something I can live with. Not mention that we have two different styles, but we write in two different genres. She wrote literary fiction and I write romance, erotica, and some urban fantasy. Now, would I like to try to tackle some of the themes she used in her stories? For example, racism, feminist issues, etc. Sure, if I honestly thought I could pull it off, why not.

Mr Flibble
02-25-2012, 08:44 AM
But, if I said, "ya know, I'd love to see my work next to Abercrombie's on the shelf. The guy had mad fight/scene, personal narrative skills," yeah, you can do something with that.

Me too. He's also insanely nice, and fun. I'd love to have him blurb me.


If someone wants me to list my influences and the writers I'd like to consider my peers, I'd be more than happy to; just use those words.

Said agent then followed it up with a much easier question. 'All right, whose readers do you want to steal?' Thing is, I don't think anyone really wants to write like X, or at least it feels oogy saying so. But stealing their readers? Much easier to figure out :D

blacbird
02-25-2012, 08:51 AM
A better me.

Alas . . . . . .

caw

Laure de Sade
02-25-2012, 08:56 AM
Nabokov.

KellyAssauer
02-25-2012, 08:57 AM
When considering Kelly's prose, one can't help but imagine that Don Delillo and Amy Hempel had a love child...


Yup, that would work for me.

bektamun
02-25-2012, 09:09 AM
I greatly admire the style of writing from the late 19th century. Verbose and elegant; a far better use of the English language imho. My writing has already been compared to Poe and Stoker and that is just fine by me. What would really seal the deal for me is to be likened to Alexandre Dumas. Forgive my informality - his writing rocks my world :)

CrastersBabies
02-25-2012, 09:22 AM
Me too. He's also insanely nice, and fun. I'd love to have him blurb me.

Being blurbed by Abercrombie . . . almost sounds dirty! :D

He visits a message board I frequent and interacts very thoughtfully with fans and other board members. Class act, imho.

And kudos to the person who said they'd love to write like McMurtry. I eat his writing up like a starving person. :D

Filigree
02-25-2012, 09:41 AM
I like the 'voice' I've developed over the years, but it isn't what I expected when I started writing in 1987.

Starting out, I copped bits of style from Tanith Lee, Andre Norton, Patricia McKillip, and Mary Stewart. I admire Lois Bujold, Scott Lynch, Guy Kay, Melissa Scott, C.J. Cherryh, and about a thousand others in many different genres.

But I haven't written in anyone else's style since a doomed Conan Doyle pastiche in 2002. Finding my own writing style was hard enough!

TikaaniM
02-25-2012, 10:00 AM
Jonathan Swift but combine many others. . . Jack London, Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells with a bit of William Shakespeare. Some are even from presidents and non-writers (George Washington, Abraham Lincoln).

Silver-Midnight
02-25-2012, 07:26 PM
A lot of the authors I really like and admire people who write in my genre(s), and some probably aren't that well known. That's not to do discredit to them or anything, but that just shows that I still have a lot of reading to do, both in and outside of my genre. I'm truthfully still trying to find my "voice" and style and etc. I know that I have time to do all of that. I don't mind being influenced by other writers entirely, but at same time I don't want my writing style dependent on consistently reading their work and making an essential carbon copy. Again, I don't mind sounding similar to my favorites(living or dead; writing in my genre or out of it), but I want to be able to write the same way without being entirely dependent on that writer(or those writers). Does that make sense?

flapperphilosopher
02-25-2012, 10:00 PM
I want to be able to write the same way without being entirely dependent on that writer(or those writers). Does that make sense?

I agree entirely! By asking who you'd want to 'write like', certainly I don't mean in any blatant way. As I said I'd love to be compared to Hemingway in some aspect-- but not too much, if someone felt I was just trying to write like Hemingway I'd be devastated!!! It's MY style, and in fact I'd realized it was my style before knowing it had some echoes of Hemingway (I'd read him once years before; then while writing my novel I picked up The Sun Also Rises and was so excited to see he handled dialogue a lot like me).

I like seeing how many people are a bit of x, y, z, and j all together-- if I was being very serious (I really didn't mean this as an oh so serious question :) ) I'd characterize my style as a mix of about ten things, some writers and some not at all.

Silver-Midnight
02-25-2012, 10:35 PM
I agree entirely! By asking who you'd want to 'write like', certainly I don't mean in any blatant way. As I said I'd love to be compared to Hemingway in some aspect-- but not too much, if someone felt I was just trying to write like Hemingway I'd be devastated!!! It's MY style, and in fact I'd realized it was my style before knowing it had some echoes of Hemingway (I'd read him once years before; then while writing my novel I picked up The Sun Also Rises and was so excited to see he handled dialogue a lot like me).

I like seeing how many people are a bit of x, y, z, and j all together-- if I was being very serious (I really didn't mean this as an oh so serious question :) ) I'd characterize my style as a mix of about ten things, some writers and some not at all.

And see, I'm still trying to figure out what authors I like/admire. So, I still haven't fully developed my voice. And there are probably some writers that I'll like, but won't want to write like. Who knows?

SirOtter
02-25-2012, 11:01 PM
Had Seabury Quinn based his supernatural detective on Philip Marlowe instead of Hercule Poirot, I'd have to find another whole genre to write in. As it is, I've got a bit of Thorne Smith thrown into the mix for sh!ts 'n' giggles.

Drachen Jager
02-25-2012, 11:08 PM
Every author has problems with their writing. There is no such thing as a perfect piece of written English. Some come pretty close, but there are always flaws.

Most of the time when I'm reading for pleasure these days I see those flaws. Often when reading books I'd previously enjoyed or authors I adore, I have to pause and groan at some of the missteps the author takes. It's moments like that which inspire me to at least try to be better than my favorite authors. Probably I'll fail. I may not make some of the mistakes they make, and I may excel in some aspects of writing beyond anyone I've read, but it's a near certainty there will be blind spots. If I'm very lucky, in ten years or so some young author will come along and read my novels and think about ways they can do better.

To be the bar by which other authors wish to be judged. That's success, and that's why I don't want to write like anyone but me.

thebloodfiend
02-25-2012, 11:59 PM
Salinger, Canty, and Card. Or Morrison, Funke, LeGuin, and Butler. What is my prose actually like? It's not comparable.

Schilcote
02-26-2012, 12:36 AM
I find things tend to play out in my head in a very Prattchet-ian manner, though on paper I'm rather more generic.

b_radom
02-26-2012, 01:38 AM
Often when reading books I'd previously enjoyed or authors I adore, I have to pause and groan at some of the missteps the author takes.

Ditto.



you [need] to be able to articulate who you want "join" on the shelf in the bookstore.


Revision. I'd like to write like Bruce Coville. Blech, it makes me sick even saying it. I stopped reading him so long ago...

elindsen
02-26-2012, 04:46 AM
I would like to sat ME, but I have not much confidence in my writing so I'll pass on me lol. There's a writer on this forum I am soooo envious of.

InfiniteDreamer
02-26-2012, 06:39 AM
A little bit of Stephen King, a dash of Poe and a sprinkle of H.P. Lovecraft and the rest is up to me :-)

bearilou
02-26-2012, 03:37 PM
I wish I had Neil Gaiman's gift for description.

Allyn
02-26-2012, 04:22 PM
Tell your agent you write in the style of Q D Vincent but, in your opinion, better than him. Then watch him search to find out who the f*** Q D Vincent is/was.

I made the name up, and even Googled it to make sure it was original

seun
02-26-2012, 04:34 PM
Said agent then followed it up with a much easier question. 'All right, whose readers do you want to steal?' Thing is, I don't think anyone really wants to write like X, or at least it feels oogy saying so. But stealing their readers? Much easier to figure out :D

If I ever get asked whose readers I want to steal, I'm going to say yours.

And then twirl my tache.

Marya
02-26-2012, 04:42 PM
I reread a number of Willa Cather novels for the AW Western contest and love her work, such sensitivity and respect for different peoples and landscapes. I also admire the obscure fantasy writer Sylvia Townsend Warner (her Kingdoms of Elfin is a cult read). As well as Toni Morrison, Toni Cade Bambara, Jhumpa Lahiri.

Then closer to home there is the Mozambican writer Mia Couto, Buchi Emecheta of Nigeria, the late Bessie Head of Botswana, NoViolet Bulowayo from Zimbabwe, the amazing writers of the Chimurenga collective, the Somali writer Nuruddin Farah.

All these have been major influences and inspirations -- not wanting so much to try and echo their work, but to join the conversation.

scarletpeaches
02-26-2012, 06:12 PM
The bastard lovechild of Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and Kazuo Ishiguro.

With some Nabokov DNA thrown in for good measure.

catian
02-26-2012, 09:03 PM
I want to write like no other.
If I manage to that then I can safely call myself a not too bad writer.
How do I do it?
I would approach with zeal panache and lots of humour.

Silver-Midnight
02-26-2012, 09:39 PM
Truthfully, there are some favorites in my genre I want to write like.

Jamesaritchie
02-27-2012, 01:52 AM
Where style is concerned, I find I can write much like Twain, or London, or L'Amour, or Parker without effort. I can even write much like Shakespeare. What I can't begin to do is write like Ray Bradbury. I wish I could.

Style is usually very easy to mimic, but the thinking behind the style is where Bradbury shines. Bradbury doesn't think like anyone else out there. His style reflects his thinking, and I can't mimic it at all.

But style is the easy part, and not the part that sells a lot of stories. It's the kind of stories there writers write, what they have to say, that matters, that's the hardest part to master.

.

randi.lee
02-27-2012, 02:13 AM
David Sedaris is one person I'd like to write like. He makes me laugh. I want to make other people laugh.

KaiaSonderby
02-27-2012, 08:26 PM
I've never really wanted to write like anyone but myself. I don't much see the point of aping other people.

Now, if you ask me which authors my work should be on the shelf next to, I'd have to say that really depends on which work we're talking about. I get around.

CaroGirl
02-27-2012, 10:41 PM
I used to aspire to write short stories like Alice Munro and novels like Margaret Atwood. With time and experience, I simply want to write each of my stories with the style and voice that suits it best. Who that might sound like no longer concerns me.

Phaeal
02-27-2012, 11:08 PM
I'd like to write with the mythic scope of Tolkien or Lovecraft and the humorous and humane intimacy of Austen.

PrincessofPersia
02-28-2012, 07:23 AM
I'd love to write like Charlie Kaufman or Kurosawa. I try not to mimic style, but I do tend to have little bits of my biggest influences in there. Lately, I've been branching out into horror, so I've got a weird combination of genres going.

catian
02-28-2012, 11:25 AM
Nabokov.
Why Nabokov?

kuwisdelu
02-28-2012, 11:27 AM
Why Nabokov?

...are you serious?

Libbie
02-28-2012, 12:02 PM
I think my biggest influences are Vladimir Nabokov, Amy Hempel, and Annie Dillard. If my writing falls anywhere in the Venn diagram where those authors overlap I'll be a happy camper.

Marya
02-28-2012, 12:12 PM
Libbie, this makes me think of Annie Dillard in pursuit of Nabokov's favourite Polymmatus blue butterflies.

catian
02-28-2012, 12:24 PM
...are you serious?
Yes.
I just want to know what it is about his style that stands out from the rest.
He is russian and so I am assuming lots of his writing style can be 'lost in translation' especially if some of his work is written in English and many others he spoke.
This is from a linguistic point fo view.
Nabokov wrote in Russiand and in English such as Lolita, I wondered how much variations in style he had from one native language to a non.
I write in English and I know that is not always ideal because nothing beats your nativeness in expressions if you like.

flapperphilosopher
02-28-2012, 11:10 PM
Yes.
I just want to know what it is about his style that stands out from the rest.
He is russian and so I am assuming lots of his writing style can be 'lost in translation' especially if some of his work is written in English and many others he spoke.
This is from a linguistic point fo view.
Nabokov wrote in Russiand and in English such as Lolita, I wondered how much variations in style he had from one native language to a non.
I write in English and I know that is not always ideal because nothing beats your nativeness in expressions if you like.

Off-topic... but it's my thread, haha. Just wondering if you've ever read Nabokov? Especially in English, he did write in both. If I had to pick one the one writer who uses the English language the best, it's Nabokov. His style is absolutely incredible. I could never, ever write like him and I'd never even begin to try, but in my opinion, his writing is some of the most exquisite you are ever going to see. Which is, of course, all the more amazing because it's not his first language at all, nor the language he started writing in. But just have a look at a few pages of Lolita and you'll see what I mean!

Archerbird
02-28-2012, 11:47 PM
But I suspect that I actually write more like Dickens on crack. ;)


I want to write like Dickens on crack.

willietheshakes
02-29-2012, 12:02 AM
Stephen King, when he was still a drinker and doing blow.

PrincessofPersia
02-29-2012, 01:59 AM
...are you serious?

*shrug* I wouldn't want to write like him.

Dr.Gonzo
02-29-2012, 07:25 AM
See, I have problems with some of my favourites. I don't like everything they do, every element of their work. I find Palahniuk's voice grating at times and his stories have fallen short of late. Ellis uses too many filters. Clevenger is a bit too poetic for my taste to the point where sometimes he just sounds too much like a writer. Irvine Welsh is a good en but I don't like all the Scotty talk and the constant dirty feeling he gives me. I like all of them to read, but somewhere between them all is what I aim to write.

Maybe if Ellis and Chuck adopted me as a baby, went on a gay cruise and got Welsh and Clevenger to babysit me. Something like that.

kuwisdelu
02-29-2012, 07:31 AM
Maybe if Ellis and Chuck adopted me as a baby, went on a gay cruise

I don't think that would even be much of a stretch.

Dr.Gonzo
02-29-2012, 07:35 AM
I don't think that would even be much of a stretch.

Maybe Ellis can put it in the sequel to Lunar Park.

flapperphilosopher
02-29-2012, 08:38 AM
Maybe if Ellis and Chuck adopted me as a baby, went on a gay cruise and got Welsh and Clevenger to babysit me. Something like that.

Ahaha, maybe I should have asked what strange combo of writers would result in your writing? :P I'll have to think of a version of that next time I start a random post....

Also, for the record, I don't always love every bit of my favourite writers either. Hemingway is my writing idol but I thought The Old Man and the Sea was really boring, and even one of his most famous short stories, Big Two-Hearted River-- well it was good, but not as good as lots of his other stories. Steinbeck can be really good with realism... then there's stuff like in the middle of East of Eden where three characters just sit around and discuss the damn theme of the novel! It's good to be critical, even of the great and beloved! If any of us felt we'd write JUST LIKE another author, given the chance... well, why even bother, right?

Jamesaritchie
03-01-2012, 12:47 AM
Ahaha, maybe I should have asked what strange combo of writers would result in your writing? :P I'll have to think of a version of that next time I start a random post....

Also, for the record, I don't always love every bit of my favourite writers either. Hemingway is my writing idol but I thought The Old Man and the Sea was really boring, and even one of his most famous short stories, Big Two-Hearted River-- well it was good, but not as good as lots of his other stories. t?

Ouch. Many believe Big Two-Hearted River is the best short story ever written by an American writer. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but if not the best, I'd say it's in the top five literary stories.

I also loved The Old Man and the Sea. These are, in fact, my two favorite Hemingway tales.

flapperphilosopher
03-01-2012, 03:16 AM
Ouch. Many believe Big Two-Hearted River is the best short story ever written by an American writer. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but if not the best, I'd say it's in the top five literary stories.

I also loved The Old Man and the Sea. These are, in fact, my two favorite Hemingway tales.

Interesting, eh, how what one person loves about a writer might not do it for another fan of the exact same writer. It's not I don't think either of those stories is very, very good-- I can see considering Two-Hearted as one of the best, and I can see why Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer. Somehow they just didn't do it for me as much as a lot of his other work, and I'm not really sure why. I wonder if I'll feel differently in a few years? (I'm still in the stage of life he was when he wrote The Sun Also Rises, after all, which is much different from that of Old Man and the Sea).

Of course it's all subjective anyway, but still, interesting to think about, eh?

Libbie
03-01-2012, 07:09 AM
Yes.
I just want to know what it is about his style that stands out from the rest.
He is russian and so I am assuming lots of his writing style can be 'lost in translation' especially if some of his work is written in English and many others he spoke.
This is from a linguistic point fo view.
Nabokov wrote in Russiand and in English such as Lolita, I wondered how much variations in style he had from one native language to a non.
I write in English and I know that is not always ideal because nothing beats your nativeness in expressions if you like.

Nabokov grew up with an English-speaking nanny and his parents also spoke French. He was raised speaking three languages; he understood and spoke English fluently as early as he understood and spoke his native Russian. There is nothing to choose between his Russian writing and his English writing, except what limitations either language may impose on any writer due to syntax and convention. Most of his work that was translated from Russian to English was translated by him or by his son.

For all intents and purposes, English was one of Nabokov's native languages, and he worked in it with the skill of a true master.

Silver-Midnight
03-01-2012, 08:02 AM
Ahaha, maybe I should have asked what strange combo of writers would result in your writing? :P I'll have to think of a version of that next time I start a random post....

Also, for the record, I don't always love every bit of my favourite writers either. Hemingway is my writing idol but I thought The Old Man and the Sea was really boring, and even one of his most famous short stories, Big Two-Hearted River-- well it was good, but not as good as lots of his other stories. Steinbeck can be really good with realism... then there's stuff like in the middle of East of Eden where three characters just sit around and discuss the damn theme of the novel! It's good to be critical, even of the great and beloved! If any of us felt we'd write JUST LIKE another author, given the chance... well, why even bother, right?

Really? I actually liked The Old Man and the Sea; I thought it was good. That and "Hills Like White Elephants" is what made me like Hemingway actually. :D But it's all a matter of opinion. Truthfully, it's hard for me to read Nathaniel Hawthorne, mostly due to his prose. The Scarlet Letter I think is a great novel, but it was really difficult for me to get through. No offense to anyone who does like him.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that two more of my favorite writers are F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner. I thought As I Lay Dying was really good; "A Rose For Emily" is another favorite. I enjoyed The Great Gatsby also.

ShadowyEclipse
03-01-2012, 08:38 AM
I just tried it out.

I write like Arthur Conan Doyle.

I feel a little warmer inside now.

b_radom
03-01-2012, 09:39 AM
Where style is concerned, I find I can write much like Twain, or London, or L'Amour, or Parker without effort. I can even write much like Shakespeare.
.

That reminds me of an idea I had a few years ago. Nobody gets enough recognition for mimicry anymore. It is, after all, a skill.

My idea was for a Reality show called "Literary Chameleon", where a writer competes against experts to see who can sound the most like a given literary figure. Maybe travels to a location associated with that figure, and we learn about the figure along the way.

Not that anybody cares about my ideas. Just thought it might be an interesting topic for discussion.

Silver-Midnight
03-01-2012, 10:32 AM
My idea was for a Reality show called "Literary Chameleon", where a writer competes against experts to see who can sound the most like a given literary figure. Maybe travels to a location associated with that figure, and we learn about the figure along the way.

Not that anybody cares about my ideas. Just thought it might be an interesting topic for discussion.

I actually think I might watch that if it were real.

Phaeal
03-01-2012, 07:45 PM
Unless the show can make provisions for cat-fights, hoarding, weight-loss schemes, snarky judges, and/or eating insanely weird/huge/hot food, forget about it. Or unless you can involve Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant in it. Or Downton Abbey. Or zombies, but that goes without saying.

Jamesaritchie
03-01-2012, 07:55 PM
Interesting, eh, how what one person loves about a writer might not do it for another fan of the exact same writer. It's not I don't think either of those stories is very, very good-- I can see considering Two-Hearted as one of the best, and I can see why Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer. Somehow they just didn't do it for me as much as a lot of his other work, and I'm not really sure why. I wonder if I'll feel differently in a few years? (I'm still in the stage of life he was when he wrote The Sun Also Rises, after all, which is much different from that of Old Man and the Sea).

Of course it's all subjective anyway, but still, interesting to think about, eh?

Have you read the Nick Adams stories that come before Big Two-Hearted River? These are really a series, and it's really difficult to understand what Big Two-Hearted River is about unless you first read the stories that set it up.

To really appreciate Big Two-Hearted River, I suggest reading a books called The Nick Adams Stories. It contains all twenty-four stories and sketches where Hemingway used Nick Adams.

As for The Old Man and the Sea, I may be a bit prejudiced because I saw the movie first, and loved it. I visualize Spencer Tracy when reading the book.

Jamesaritchie
03-01-2012, 07:57 PM
That reminds me of an idea I had a few years ago. Nobody gets enough recognition for mimicry anymore. It is, after all, a skill.

My idea was for a Reality show called "Literary Chameleon", where a writer competes against experts to see who can sound the most like a given literary figure. Maybe travels to a location associated with that figure, and we learn about the figure along the way.

Not that anybody cares about my ideas. Just thought it might be an interesting topic for discussion.

Sounds like fun to me. I'm sure writers would probably love it, but I suspect the general American audience would be going, "Hey, where's Snooki. And why is no one having sex?"

Ophqui
03-01-2012, 08:19 PM
Whoever makes the most money.

Failing that if I could take the imagery and of John Irving, the imagination of Neil Gaiman and the punchy, readability of Stephen King I'd be a decent writer

flapperphilosopher
03-01-2012, 10:45 PM
Have you read the Nick Adams stories that come before Big Two-Hearted River? These are really a series, and it's really difficult to understand what Big Two-Hearted River is about unless you first read the stories that set it up.

To really appreciate Big Two-Hearted River, I suggest reading a books called The Nick Adams Stories. It contains all twenty-four stories and sketches where Hemingway used Nick Adams.

As for The Old Man and the Sea, I may be a bit prejudiced because I saw the movie first, and loved it. I visualize Spencer Tracy when reading the book.

I love the Nick Adams stories! I haven't picked up the actual book collection of all of them, but I've read most of them from other various places. I love the way they're great stories in themselves but there's this overriding arc. And absolutely Big Two Hearted River means so much more when you know all of what's behind it. I think I'm actually going to go and read it again, maybe I just wasn't in the right mood! [also, I'd like to retract saying I thought other of his short stories were better; it's definitely as good as any of them! I should have said "just doesn't do it for me as much as some others".].

Old Man and the Sea... I don't know, maybe it was expectations? I LOVE Hemingway and I'd been reading everything of his, and then this was the one that won the Pulitzer, after all... and then it just didn't blow me away. It's impressive, and I read it all in one sitting, but I probably won't read it again, whereas his other stuff I read regularly.

I'm actually glad, though, to see other people's shock at my comments on Hemingway-- he IS my favourite author ever and my writing idol, so I'll support anyone who defends him, even against me. :P

Ahem, anyway, back on track.... (luckily I started this thread, so no one can get mad at me for getting off-topic... :) )

flapperphilosopher
03-01-2012, 10:46 PM
That reminds me of an idea I had a few years ago. Nobody gets enough recognition for mimicry anymore. It is, after all, a skill.

My idea was for a Reality show called "Literary Chameleon", where a writer competes against experts to see who can sound the most like a given literary figure. Maybe travels to a location associated with that figure, and we learn about the figure along the way.

Not that anybody cares about my ideas. Just thought it might be an interesting topic for discussion.

I love this too! I'd so watch that!

flapperphilosopher
03-01-2012, 10:50 PM
I forgot to mention that two more of my favorite writers are F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner. I thought As I Lay Dying was really good; "A Rose For Emily" is another favorite. I enjoyed The Great Gatsby also.

I lied, one more digression into literary discussion. :) I really like Fitzgerald too, one of my faves (I stole my username from a collection of his short stories :) ). Interestingly, though, because you like Fitzy and Hemingway-- I have a really hard time with Faulkner. I wouldn't deny he's a very good writer but my mind and his style just don't click. I've tried a few times and haven't been able to finish reading anything of his. Literary taste is such an interesting thing, isn't it?

Shadow_Ferret
03-01-2012, 10:55 PM
I'd like to write like Edgar Rice Burroughs. Be prolific and create characters that become household names.

I don't want to write in a style similar to his, however. I want to write like me.

Jamesaritchie
03-01-2012, 11:00 PM
Whoever makes the most money.

Failing that if I could take the imagery and of John Irving, the imagination of Neil Gaiman and the punchy, readability of Stephen King I'd be a decent writer

I'd settle for the reading voice of Neil Gaiman.

Silver-Midnight
03-01-2012, 11:26 PM
I lied, one more digression into literary discussion. :) I really like Fitzgerald too, one of my faves (I stole my username from a collection of his short stories :) ). Interestingly, though, because you like Fitzy and Hemingway-- I have a really hard time with Faulkner. I wouldn't deny he's a very good writer but my mind and his style just don't click. I've tried a few times and haven't been able to finish reading anything of his. Literary taste is such an interesting thing, isn't it?

Really? I mean a lot of his work is in stream of consciousness, and that can be hard to understand, especially when you add in a "Southern twang" to the mix. However, his Souther speech/writing is a lot easier for me to understand than Mark Twain's. I have nothing against Mr. Twain; I did enjoy Huckleberry Finn, but I can easily recall moments when I didn't know what the characters were thinking or saying just due to the strength of the accent.

But no, William Faulkner is definitely a favorite of mine.

However, I'm probably not the best judge of literary fiction. I can't really pick up on all of the metaphors and symbolism as well as some other people can: so, yeah. I do admit though that there are writers I like and enjoy. I typically read American Literature authors probably more so than any other. But that's just my personal preference.

The only thing that worries me slightly about reading literary fiction is that I write genre fiction (Urban Fantasy and Romance), and because I'm still developing my writer's voice I tend to--not all of the time intentionally--imitate the writers I like to some degree. So, I don't really know if that's a good thing or a bad thing simply because of what I write. I mean obviously some things can still apply. I'm also reading books in the genre(s) I write--or want to write--in. I don't know; maybe I'm over thinking it. But I think certain genres read(or sound) certain ways.

Jamesaritchie
03-02-2012, 01:28 AM
Really? I mean a lot of his work is in stream of consciousness, and that can be hard to understand, especially when you add in a "Southern twang" to the mix. However, his Souther speech/writing is a lot easier for me to understand than Mark Twain's. I have nothing against Mr. Twain; I did enjoy Huckleberry Finn, but I can easily recall moments when I didn't know what the characters were thinking or saying just due to the strength of the accent.



This is interesting. I love Twain and Faulkner, and I think Twain is the best American writer of all time. I've never read a line of Twain that I didn't understand instantly, but some of Faulkner's phrases have thrown me.

I wonder if the difference has anything to do with upbringing? I grew up around people who spoke eerily like many of Twain's characters, but wasn't exposed to the more refined southern accent and dialect until I was much older.

Silver-Midnight
03-02-2012, 01:52 AM
This is interesting. I love Twain and Faulkner, and I think Twain is the best American writer of all time. I've never read a line of Twain that I didn't understand instantly, but some of Faulkner's phrases have thrown me.

I wonder if the difference has anything to do with upbringing? I grew up around people who spoke eerily like many of Twain's characters, but wasn't exposed to the more refined southern accent and dialect until I was much older.

That is interesting. I've lived in the Southern U.S. about 99.9% of my life, and I've seen more of Faulkner's accent than Twain's I think. I know that Faulkner's, of the two, was easier for me to read I guess. Then again, I've only really read As I Lay Dying; I haven't read The Sound and The Fury yet.

I still Twain is a great writer though. Like I said, I enjoyed Huckleberry Finn, but I hard time understanding some parts of it.