Writing Influences?

I thought this is an interesting concept, and I’m sure I’m not the first or the last writer to talk about it.  If you look up a famous musician on Wikipedia you will find a listing of their artistic influences.  But if you look up a famous writer you probably won’t find their artistic influences.  Maybe it’s listed somewhere, but it’s not as accessible as it is with musicians, maybe because there isn’t as much money in books.  I guess most people don’t care about it, but I do because I think it’s interesting.  Every writer has a certain style that is pretty specific, just like musicians.  I think a lot of writers are influenced by other writers, whether it’s a conscious desire or not.  I’ve already mentioned that a turning point for me was reading Cormac McCarthy.  My other writing influences are Margaret Atwood, and William Faulkner.  It might change in the future, and I might add more authors to this list.  That doesn’t mean my writing is comparable to those authors XD  It just means that I have incorporated their style into mine or rather their style influenced my own.

So if you would like to share, what authors have influenced your writing?


8 thoughts on “Writing Influences?

  1. My writing influences for fiction were Aussie authors I read while I was growing up: Paul Jennings and John Marsden. I love their mysteries and twists at the end and when I write short stories they all involve a mystery and usually a twist. I don’t intentionally set out to do this, but those authors really influence me there obviously. They’re very colloquial too, using the language of kids at school and the Aussie way of speaking – that kind of thing. So I try to write that way too – capturing the way people speak conversationally to each other.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂 I just looked up John Marsden on Amazon. One of his most popular books is, Tommorow, When the War Began. Is that a good one? I’m always looking for new authors. One of my weaknesses is the actual storytelling, so I’m looking for good stories. I looked up Paul Jennings, and he reminds me of R.L. Stine. Not sure if that is accurate? When I was a kid I love R.L. Stine’s Goosebump series. One of the best parts about it was the twist at the end. But after reading like 30 of them, I could pretty much guess the endings, lol. There were 62 of them, so he tended to recycle the endings. I started reading his series for YA, but it had witchcraft in it. So I asked my mom about it, and her being a devout Christian told me it wasn’t allowed anymore. I was too honest to ever do anything bad :$ Do you live in Australia? I have a good friend that lives in Tasmania. I love her accent, it’s adorable :3

      • Yes, the Tomorrow series as we call it (there’s seven) is the best!!! I like to read them every couple of years or so. As soon as i read the first page/line, I’m hooked because of the writing style.
        And Paul Jennings doesn’t write scary stories really although some of his stories did scare me a little. Most of them are funny. They’re quite odd and off the wall but I love that imagination. Lots of his stories were touching. One in particular is one of my favourite stories, about a dog. I cried.
        Just thought of another author who influence my writing: Isobelle Carmody. I love the fantasy genre best and loved her singular books rather than her series. She wrote with mystery and twists too!
        Yep, from Australia. Love this country!

      • I looked up Isobelle Carmody, and her book, Greylands, looks awesome 😀 I’m frequently writing about death so it would be nice to see another perspective on it. It’s interesting how some of what we read is influenced by where we live. My husband is a Japanese citizen, so they read a lot of different books in school than we do in America. There are probably 50 books that are commonly read in high schools across America, most of them by American authors. Thanks for the book recommendations ^^ I’d love to visit my friend in Tasmania, but with my health issues, she’ll probably be visiting me in America before I get the chance XD

  2. Hi there,
    My main influences have been Amy Tan, Anne Rice, Richard Brautigan, Neil Gaiman, Dianna Wynn Jones, LM Montgomery, Isaac Asimov. Also Stephen King’s book on writing had a big impact on me, although I only really love one of his books, Lisey’s Story. I’ve tried reading other books of his, and they’re hit and miss for me – some I like, some I hate (Misery for example – hated it). But however you feel about his writing, you can’t ignore his success. I like Margaret Atwood too, but I don’t know that I would call her a main influence of mine.

    Kind of a mixed bag of writers – but they all have certain strengths that I admire greatly, and some of them have weaknesses that taught me things too. Asimov, for example, had some fantastic, imaginative stories, but many of them were lacking characters with believable emotions. Anne Rice’s characters are incredibly real to me. Her books written from the point of view of different characters are so believable, I find that some voices I love (Lestat) and some I can’t stand (Armand). However, sometimes I can’t get past the fact that everyone in her books (EVERYONE) is beautiful. I actually think this is because she really sees the world this way, which is endearing, but sometimes this ruins the suspension of disbelief for me.

    If I had to pick a favorite, I think it would be Amy Tan. She has a way of describing real things in a fanciful, magical way, while still seeming down to earth, and she has a sense of humor, too. I read The Opposite of Fate whenever I need encouragement to write. Brautigan would be a close second for many of the same reasons, but his struggle with depression and eventual suicide means, for me, that I can’t always read his work without feeling some depression myself.

    WHEW that was a much longer post than I anticipated! Great question!!

    • Thank you for a lovely response 😀 I think there is so much to learn from established authors. I remember reading Amy Tan in high school for AP English. We were assigned to read, Joy Luck Club, and I really enjoyed it. Any other books of hers you would recommend? I’ve been meaning to read Stephen King. I wanted to read the Dark Tower series. Not sure if I’ll like it, but I guess there is only one way to find out XD

      As much as I love McCarthy and Faulkner, many of their stories are a bit boring. I try to make my writing and story exciting because most readers don’t care much about prose, they want a good story. I’ve never read Ann Rice before, but I’ve definitely heard of her. I saw the movie, Interview with a Vampire, and I really enjoyed it. I think you have to be careful when creating characters because making them all beautiful is not realistic. It can also be a Mary Sue quality in combination with other things.

      I’m sure I’ve read some of Asimov’s short stories, but I never read any of his novels. I love science fiction, so I should give one of his novels a try. I remember one of his short stories, I think it was his, he switched up the order of the beginning, middle, and end. I loved how he did that because it made me really think about linear narrative, and how your interpretation of the story is different if the order is mixed up. One of the most important features of a story for me is character development. I was discussing that with someone else the other day. I play role playing video games (RPG) and some of the really popular games I didn’t like because I couldn’t connect to any of the characters. It didn’t matter how good the story was, if I couldn’t connect to at least one character the game was boring. If Asimov is weak on characterization that may be why I never felt the urge to read more. I’ve read several science fiction short stories, and there is always a short story from Asimov, as well as Bradbury, Matheson, Vonnegut, etc.

      I looked up Brautigan on Amazon. This book looks interesting, “Revenge of the Lawn, The Abortion, So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away.” It’s a collection of his short stories. I’m really interested in reading short stories because that’s what I’m trying to write currently. I’ll add it to my reading list 🙂 I actually like depressing novels XD

      So many books to read, so little time XD Thanks again for sharing your thoughts ^^

      • Hi again! THIS: “Revenge of the Lawn, The Abortion, So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away.” definitely the one you should try. The Abortion is one of my all time favorite books! The stories in Revenge of the Lawn are excellent as well. If you like depressing, So the Wind Won’t Blow it All Away fits the bill. 🙂

        For Asimov, I like the Robot books better than the Foundation novels.

        For Tan, I like The Hundred Secret Senses…and really everything else she wrote, with the exception of Joy Luck Club, which is actually not my favorite.

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