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  1. Saffron
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    Books That Have Inspired You

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Saffron, Sep 20, 2008.

    Which books have most inspired you as a writer?

    I draw some inspiration from pretty much everything I read, but there are a few books on my shelf that really stand out to me, books that I keep going back to again and again and that I've probably drawn most of my inspiration and motivation from over the years (it's quite a mixed list, by the way!):

    The Lost World - Arthur Conan Doyle

    The Magician's Nephew - C.S. Lewis

    Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

    I Capture The Castle - Dodie Smith

    Bonjour Tristesse - Francoise Sagan

    The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

    The High House - James Stoddard

    Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton

    The Earthsea Trilogy - Ursula Le Guin

    The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan

    Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling

    Perdido Street Station - China Mieville

    Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

    Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

    The Winter of the World Series - Michael Scott Rohan

    ...and one non-fiction:

    On Writing - Stephen King
     
  2. Unknown Deity
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    Is on writing by stephen king useful ? I was thinking of picking it up.

    All of darren shan and stephen kings books are inspirational to me :)
     
  3. lordofhats
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    Neuromancer
    Starship Troopers
    The Forever War
    Ender's Game
    The Iliad and the Odyssey
    Without Remorse
    The Halo Book Series

    Though I've only actually been inspired for one story from it, I regularly make off hand and at times unintentional references to the Bible.

    I find history in general inspiring, and of course we learn history from books.
     
  4. Acglaphotis
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    The whole Incarnations of Immortality series from Piers anthony because of the philosophic nature of being a force of nature. Darkly Dreaming Dexter and Dearly Devoted Dexter because of the psychologycal views of psychopathy and serial killing. The Diablo series because of how they handle such a pessimistic and dark world and the .hack series for making me wonder wether at what point I measured something as "human" or "living". BTW, the Halo series are pure, concentrated awesome in the form of small paperback books.

    I'm reading the Oddissey and I have to wonder, did they really talk like that?

    offtopic:
    whaaaat? How come I didn't hear about this.
     
  5. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    They are. Its rare that expanded universe is actually "good" but the Halo books are a sure exception. The writing isn't spectacular they have done a spectacular job of expanding the characters and the universe of Halo.

    Back then, probably not. The current volumes available to us are mostly Medieval translations of older greek works so its more likely for the writing to resemble 12th - 15th century language.
     
  6. Acglaphotis
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    So someone, somewhere at some time did talk like that?
     
  7. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Yep. It can actually be very interesting to study the evolution of communications. I'm not that well versed but I find the gradual evolution of the English Language especially interesting.
     
  8. Kratos
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    Books/graphic novels that inspired me...hmmm..

    The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Inspired me to write)
    A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin (Inspired me to write in many POVs and with gray characters)
    Watchmen by Alan Moore (Made me think about people, and life)
    Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba (Made me think about what truly defines evil)
    Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (Inspired me to create a detailed world)
    Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Made me think more about being a teenager)
    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Helped me in characterization)
    Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (Got me really into reading fantasy)
     
  9. Speedy
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    Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

    The Dark Tower Series - Stephen King

    The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
     
  10. The Freshmaker
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    I tend to get inspiration from reading bad books. They make me think, "Man, I could totally do better than this."

    My latest writing spurt was inspired by Twilight.
     
  11. The-Joker
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    Books that inspired me...
    Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code... just love the research and the writing.
    Harry Potter...oddly enough
    A song of Ice and Fire

    My latest inspiration, The Dark Knight(Can you tell?)...Okay its a movie, but thats one hell of a script.
     
  12. lordofhats
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    The writing I leave up to you, but the research? Seriously? What research?
     
  13. Acglaphotis
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    @The_Joker: If you liked TDK, then read "The Killing Joke", it's really good.
     
  14. The-Joker
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    The content might not always have been historically accurate but everything he writes has some semblance of truth, and then theres the way he meshes it all together-sublime.

    I mean, he was writing about CERN and anti-matter long before most of the world even heard of a Hadron Collider.
     
  15. The-Joker
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    @acglaphotis.

    Really? whats that? a commic book?
     
  16. HeinleinFan
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    Books on writing that inspired me to write more:
    On Writing by Stephen King
    Worlds of Wonder: How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by David Gerrold
    Elements of Style by Strunk & White

    Books whose great (human) characterization inspired me to write more:
    Matilda by Roald Dahl
    "The Little House Books" by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    Death Note (manga) written by Tsugumi Ohba
    The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
    Birth of Fire by Jerry Pournelle
    Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
    Flowers for Algernon (short story) by Daniel Keys
    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    Books who turned animals or aliens into wonderful characters in their own right:
    Watership Down by Richard Adams
    The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
    Bruce by Albert Payson Terhune
    Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
    "The Animorphs" series by K.A. Applegate
    The Mote in God's Eye by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven
    Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
    The Meddler (short story) by Larry Niven

    Authors whose worlds are so large you can merrily fall into them and start exploring:
    Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven and Steven Barnes - "Mote", "Lucifer's Hammer," "Legacy of Heorot," "Flare Time," anything involving the Kzinti.
    Ursula K. LeGuin - Earthsea, the world in The Left Hand of Darkness.
    J.R.R. Tolkien
    George R.R. Martin
    J.K. Rowling
    Patrick Rothfuss
    James Herriot - his Yorkshire once existed, and still exists in his books
    Steven Brust - his "Draegara" is scary and political and very real down to Vlad's missing finger
    Robert Heinlein - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is simply amazing
    Isaac Asimov - Foundation and the Robot books
    Terry Prachett's Discworld
    C.S. Lewis - Narnia
    Jonathan Stroud - the alternate London in his "Bartimaeus Trilogy"
     
  17. destinationless
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    I take bits and pieces that I really enjoy from just about every novel that I've ever read, but the one that has been most influential on my -life-, and consequently my writing, has been C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters. A short, easy read that completely transformed my life and then some.

    I should also credit Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew series -the original series, mind you. While I have been a writer since I was six years old and thus able to put coherent thoughts together, the mystery sleuth's chronicles, which I began reading at age 8, was what really inspired me to write pieces that could change the world.

    Even though they are not books and no one has ever heard of them, I cannot leave without creditting a very good friend of mine and fellow writer. He writes essays for the sake of getting his thoughts out on paper. Many are political, many are taboo, many are theological, but his ideas radically affect my own and dramatically alter the way I write and the purpose of which I write. His latest essay, regarding daemonology, inspired my latest piece, which is still in the research phase. :)

    Oh, and of course, the Bible. (Although I wouldnt call it a novel, per se. ;) )

    -D
     
  18. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Well, some of the first books I ever got hooked on were the Goosebumps series. They made me want to become a writer, and I was only 7 or 8 at the time. So, I would say they have had the most influence on me in that they inspired me to write.
     
  19. iknowimsoslow
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    The first book I ever read that really spoke to me was A Wrinkle in Time. I still have my first copy of it. I read it cover to cover about 10 times.
    My other favorite book is Pandora by Anne Rice. It was the first vampire book I've ever read and I've been hooked since. I loved all her vampire chronicles and I recently read all the Twilight books and loved them, too.
     
  20. BillyxRansom
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    Probably the most useful book ...on writing... that has ever been written. There may be one other that is supposedly as good, if not better, and I can't remember the name of it, but King himself references the book quite a few times in it. I've never read it, but King approves, so if I come across it, I'll pick it up.

    Seriously, though, this little 300 page book (trust me, it goes by fast) is probably the best book on the craft of writing I will ever read. It reads like a conversation, at a lot of points. Not too many clunky terms or pretentious I'm-better-at-writing-than-you-just-because-you-picked-this-up language.
     
  21. BillyxRansom
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    The entire basis of his "research" was apparently a grand total of one book used as a resource of...some kind.
     
  22. marina
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    I'll second you on that. If you can get the audiobook version of it, I'd highly recommend it since Stephen King is the reader. The only criticism I'd have of it has to do with King's bashing of several writers. That seemed unprofessional and arrogant.
     
  23. lordofhats
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    And we all know who was writing about those before him: Robert A Heilein, Frank Herbert, Arthur C. Clarke, and oh Stephen Hawking XD.

    I second the other research statement, especially since the book his "research" came from, has been discredited by anyone with a History degree, hell I don't need one to discredit it. I think Brown lost that plagerism lawsuit didn't he? EDIT: I looked and Brown didn't lose XD.
     
  24. destinationless
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    I havent read King's On Writing; perhaps I should do so. Edit: After reviewing said conversation, maybe not. :p

    Another fabulous writing tool is The Writer's Little Helper by James V Smith, Jr. -Horrid title, fantastic tool. A tiny, 250ish page text that covers the majority of writing issues one would come across in an entertaining way, and it is versatile; useful to masters of the craft and beginners alike. It's full of explanations and tips, but also provides innovative tools and extensive checklists. It's not meant to be read cover to cover, but I've read it that way time and time again. My writing has improved -so- much since I purchased this book several years ago. -I may have to get a second copy; the binding falling apart.
    And it comes with a cute design, too. :p

    My favorite quote from the entire book is this: "When you feel yourself getting weep at what you're writing, you can depend on your reader being touched by what you're writing, as well. When you find yourself being amused by what you're writing, watch out; you're getting too cute." :D

    -D
     
  25. The-Joker
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    And we all know who was writing about those before him: Robert A Heilein, Frank Herbert, Arthur C. Clarke, and oh Stephen Hawking XD.

    Alright I can see I'm not going to be able to convince you. I guess it's just the writing style then. It agrees with me. And perhaps The Da Vinci Code's core plot was based solely on the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, but I'm referring to everything else. Almost every area the characters enter has a rich history and Brown tells it( 1.618 ; Fibonacci sequence...), then he weaves it all together. Few authors are willing to do that. I'm sure you don't agree...
     

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