1. sprirj
    Offline

    sprirj Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    159

    Fantastic authors who inspire your work?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by sprirj, Apr 6, 2011.

    Who are your literary heroes? - Not just anyone but who directly inspires your style or current novel and why. The point of this thread is to hopefully inspire others who are writing a similar genre to yourself a new avenue of research. :)

    E.G.

    I'm writing a "realistic" sci-fi thriller,

    My heroes are:

    Michel Houellebecq, for his total brutal honesty, insights on human nature and the sci-fi elements in 'the possibility of an island'
    Chuck Palahniuk, for his almost comic book, pulp fiction style and twists
    Hunter S Tompson, for his beautiful writing and surreal insights
    and John Fante, best first person writer I've encountered
     
  2. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I have loads I write fantasy and detective stories - I personally think for fantasy you need to draw from all genres:

    Robert Neill for dialogue, warmth and description
    Gervase Phinn and Alan Bennett for warmth and humour
    Enid Blyton - her worldbuilding and imagination are for me some of the best.
    Shakespeare for his characterisation
    Robert Burns - imagery and humour
    William McGonaghall for sheer determination and proving that even a bad poet or author can make it lol
    Agatha Christie - her ability with suspense is brilliant
    Dolly Parton - Characterisation and emotion
    Louisa May Alcott
    Mark Twain - both for stories and characters - warmth and emotion.
    Alex Sanchez - humour and young adult work
    Lian Hearne - worldbuilding and visuals
    Bart Yates - amazing fast paced writing, visual, gripping, suspense and best example of how not to write an ending :)
    Pamela Brown - again her ability to work in emotion and the strength of her characters.
     
  3. katica
    Offline

    katica Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    11
    J.K. Rowling - She makes fantasy imaginative and works a lot on world building. I understand world building so much better now that I've read her writing. It's a big part of what can make fantasy so adventurous and interesting!

    Stephanie Meyer - People may groan, but she's what started me on writing about the paranormal and including romance in my writing.

    Kelley Armstrong - Her Darkest Powers Trilogy encouraged me to write about necromancers. Also, her characters are realistic and relatable, probably because she's a psychologist in real life.

    Neil Gaiman - He writes fantasy books and comics. His Sandman comics encouraged me to write about the sick and twisted and incorporate it into fantasy. He does this very well and makes it intriguing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. ProwerGirl
    Offline

    ProwerGirl Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    California
    Christopher Paolini has inspired a lot of my works, and reading Tamora Peirce's books always gets me writing. Tolkien is also a hero of mine.
     
  5. minstrel
    Online

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,728
    Likes Received:
    4,824
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Joseph Conrad for his philosophical insight while pretending to write sea adventures.
    John Steinbeck for the depth of his characters, startlingly fresh imagery, and unique outlook.
    Rudyard Kipling for his narrative drive and brilliant imagination.
    Ernest Hemingway for his ability to pack a great deal of character into very few words, and his unique take on the world.
    Anthony Burgess for his amazing virtuosity with English prose.
    Robinson Jeffers, who is a poet but who might as well be a novelist, for his vivid language and intransigence of vision.
    James Joyce because he makes me feel like a stuck-up, pompous intellectual snob when I read him, but in a good way, sort of. ;)
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    Always has been and always will be Diana Wynne Jones. :( /still in mourning. Just her whole attitude within her books, and the beautiful writing, and the huge variation in things she wrote about, and the level that went into them, so that re-reading things I read repeatedly as a kid I get so much more out of, but the way they were written meant they still were great reads when I was young... *sigh*

    Oh, and Terry Pratchett's humour and perhaps some of his pragmatism about fantasy have been huge influences on me as well.
     
  7. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    Always has been and always will be Diana Wynne Jones. :( /still in mourning. Just her whole attitude within her books, and the beautiful writing, and the huge variation in things she wrote about, and the level that went into them, so that re-reading things I read repeatedly as a kid I get so much more out of, but the way they were written meant they still were great reads when I was young... *sigh*

    Oh, and Terry Pratchett's humour and perhaps some of his pragmatism about fantasy have been huge influences on me as well.
     
  8. cybrxkhan
    Offline

    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    13
    For me, a few in particular:

    J.D. Salinger - Yes, I know a lot of people hate The Catcher in the Rye and/or don't see any merit in it, but I found the book to be a rather interesting and well-done character study, in my opinion. Sure, Holden Caulfield is an angsty teen, but I felt that Salinger perfectly captured the personality of an angsty teen - something that is usually not done well. As such, Salinger inspired me to make more complex and interesting characters, as well as character-based stories, which I prefer to write to this day.
    Tolkien - I found Tolkien hard to read through, but I admire and am inspired - like many in the speculative fiction genre - but his creativity and ability to construct complex and, in a sense, realistic worlds, despite their fantasy elements. He might not have been the first to do it, but he certainly is the spiritual grandfather of all fantasy and world-building, and I was inspired by him ever since I was in elementary school.
    Luo Guanzhang (I think that's how you spell it) - author of the monstrously long Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is one of the four great classics of Chinese literature, filled with craploads of characters and great scenes and insane mind screws of strategy. It was the first true epic I read, and since I was young, it helped inspired visions of adventure and epic-ness inside my young head.
    Mark Twain - I don't really like his writing in general (like many, I have a certain uncomfortableness around 19th century writing styles), but I really like his wit and humor nevertheless, and I really respect him for that.
    Li Po - A famous Chinese poet who lived around 700 CE, I think, for those of you who don't know. I enjoy his poetry and its nature-focused themes.
    Rumi - A medieval Persian poet, for those of you who don't know. Similar to Li Po, but Rumi focuses on different topics and themes, I think.

    The last guy's name I forgot, but he's the writer of a series of Japanese light novels called Spice and Wolf. I never read the books proper, but I did watch the anime adaptation, which was said to be extremely close to the original novels and even took most of the dialogue from it word-for-word. I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters and the character interaction in the story, and it helped me, again, put my loyalties towards character rather than plot when making my stories.
     
  9. Speedy
    Offline

    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    4,866
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Australia
    Poe, Lovecraft and Tolkien

    More modern - Cormac McCarty, Peter Hamilton (for characters), King (early pre 90's works) and His son, Joe Hill (to witness a man gain higher heights). Bradon Sanderson (cause his the God of fantasy whom anyone writing fantasy should follow).
     
  10. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I love Rumi - he was the inspiration for my favourite architect Nader Khalili - the Calearth things are amazing and he reproduced a lot of his poems.

    Actually I am going to add Nader Khalili just for ability to inspire, and comfort his book Racing Alone is about only competing with yourself to be the best you can be - and how enjoying life is more important than winning an artificial race against others/
     
  11. Sundae
    Offline

    Sundae Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Astral Weeks
    J.K Rowling - For making me fall in love with books even more than I thought possible. Her overall plots and sub-plots are fantastic too.

    Vladimir Nabokov - Probably my favorite writer for his word play. He was a master linguist and half of his works were as much about the actual word play as much as the story. Also, how he writes in different perspectives and you spend almost all of your time in his books trying figure out if the narrator is telling the truth or lies.

    James Joyce - His charming intellectual wit and general style of writing. I love how he can write in many different perspective and pull it off well. Also, I love how he can pick up a book, read it, and easily pick up the writing style and adapt it to his stories. I think I'm a little like this which is why he resonates so much with me. I find that I can easily pick up a someone else's writing style and make it my own.

    Nicholas Sparks - I actually hated him UNTIL I started actually writing. I love his southern style of writing and although his writing may seem common and simple on the surface, it's actually very unique and unlike anybody else I have encountered. The main thing I like about his books is that they are all simple stories. They're not made to be bigger than life, they're simple... and in the simplicity of it, the beauty is that it does become bigger than life in the end.

    Taylor Swift (Singer/Song Writer) - I know, I know. What the heck. But it's true. I'm uncannily very, very inspired by her music and I started out despising her music thinking it was just just a sweet waste of melody. It's not. If you listen to her songs, you will notice that every single song of her's IS a story. She's not just a singer/song writer, she's a story teller. I also have grown to love her themes of young love, childhood-innocence, over coming obstacles and really, just believing in yourself.
     
  12. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Well, Lovecraft started my interest in writing my own fiction. I no longer consider him 'Fantastic', more 'Fantastical'.

    James Joyce is a big inspiration on me; I can see a lot of his 'Dubliners' style in my writing.

    Arthur Rimbaud - regardless of what people may think, this little French punk was talented!

    Alexander Pope has to be one of my favorite poets. His wit and style is pretty much flawless.

    Thomas Pynchon - there is no doubt in my mind that this man is a frigging genius. I love this guy's style: he's both philosophical and silly, both amazingly considered and completely off-the-wall. I recommend him to absolutely everyone.

    George Orwell is another one of those writers for me; all of his novels are personal favorites.

    T.S. Eliot ... nuff said.

    There are others, but I am either working my way through them, or not sure they are the massive, overt influences on me that the names above are.
     
  13. hyperchord24
    Offline

    hyperchord24 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    1
    George R.R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire

    He really takes you into his world. The tastes, smells, feeling, sounds, dialogue. It's as if he dons his breeches and doublet, embroidered in his house sigil, eats some poorage and stewed plums, mounts his destrider a charges to his laptop to pledge his fealty and bend the knee. When he writes, we're there.
     
  14. adonisthomas
    Offline

    adonisthomas New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hunter S. Thompson-Father of gonzo journalism. Definitely one of the few who really grabbed me early and one of the reasons why I chose that as a profession (currently still in school). He's just so raw and in your face. One of the best things I've read about Thompson was this quote about his novel "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72" in which a George McGovern aid said that the novel was "the least factual, but most accurate." I think that's great.

    Kurt Vonnegut-I like his novels, but where he really made me pay attention and fall in love with his works were his short stories. He perfected satire as far as I'm concerned.

    Chuck Palahniuk-The dark humor present throughout his novels is just brilliant. Either you'll understand what I'm talking about or you won't, but him and Quentin Tarantino are both very similar in style and with the use of great references. I really love that style.

    I have a few other favorites that I could list, but, I'm kind of in the opinion that you can't exactly be influenced by a laundry list. Well, maybe you can, but then it just becomes so watered down I suppose.
     
  15. Ophiucha
    Offline

    Ophiucha Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    Oh, there are loads. I shall alphabetize them.

    Jorge Luis Borges. I love this man. He had so many great ideas that he explored in the simplest, most concise ways, often only alluding to them. There is so much in the background, so much that another author would have made the focus of their entire novel, that he just tosses out there in a paragraph long story and lets it be done. I really love that.

    Thomas Hardy. Though I am perhaps one of few who seems to honestly enjoy his stories, character, and writing, he really pulls me in with his dialogue. In terms of novelists, I can think of nobody whose dialogue grabbed me more than Hardy's. Though I think I get a fair bit of Tarantino (the director) influence in that department, too.

    Cormac McCarthy. Move over Hemingway, there is a new man after my prosaic heart. I like the Western aesthetic in his stories, as a fan of Westerns, but nothing keeps me coming back more than his prose. He is just such a great writer.

    China MiƩville. Though I don't quite fit the mold, I do think most of my stories fit closer to the New Weird term than any other, and China MiƩville is sort of the king of that. Top that off with a healthy dose of communism, and he is certainly an author I feel a connection with. In terms of theme and tone, he is probably my biggest influence.

    Vladimir Nabokov. Pale Fire is basically the inspiration for my novel. The style, the unreliable narrator, everything about it is the greatest thing ever penned.

    Algernon Charles Swinburne. I do have my moments of poeticism, and I titled my book after a line from his poem, Anactoria. (Specifically, "the dust of dead desire".) For moments of grandiloquence, I can really feel Swinburne's hand at work (that sounds a bit dirty, not at all helped by his chosen subject matter, but whatever).
     
  16. art
    Offline

    art Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    113
    Which is his best work/ what would you particularly recommend?
     
  17. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    I started with his first publication and worked my way up: V. then The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow and so on until Inherent Vice.

    People will say that The Crying of Lot 49 is the best place to start, because it's the shortest; these people are idiots. The beginning of The Crying is rather slow, and could easily put people off. It's worth sticking with though, my advice is start with V.. It's my favorite anyway.
     
  18. JMTweedie
    Offline

    JMTweedie Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    London UK
    J.K.Rowling
    Tolkein
    Terry Pratchett
    Philip K. Dick

    I also love the style of writing of Stieg Larsson.
     
  19. art
    Offline

    art Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    113

    Lovely, thanks. Always thought I should read him. V is now on my summer reading list.
     
  20. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    It's not a problem.
     
  21. Jessica_312
    Offline

    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Florida
    J.K Rowling - I know I have creativity and imagination, but I would give my right arm to be able to write with THAT level of creativity, to be able to write 7 stand-alone books that also have an all-encompassing story-arc while creating an entirely new world with entirely new culture, words, and creatures, and not only envisioning magical things (literally), but wording descriptions of these magical things in such a way that I could clearly paint a picture in my head each time.

    Stephen King - I've read most of his books - the "King of Horror", he's able to scare the bejeesus out of me more than any other author out there. Also, his book "On Writing" is an invaluable tool for all authors to have

    Douglas Adams - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite books of all time. The tone of voice he maintains throughout his books, his wit, his sarcasm, and his intelligence are all impeccable, as well as his sense of humor

    Michael Crichton - The king of taking relatively normal places and turning them into something fantastic, with an amazingly keen attention to detail. Takes an island and turns it into a Jurassic jungle, take a jungle and turns it into a monster-ape infested hell-hole - and best of all, with his research and intelligent portrayals, he not only makes you envision these worlds he creates, he also makes you believe that they are scientifically viable.

    If I could write half as well as any one of these authors, I'd be a very happy lady :)
     
  22. DMF
    Offline

    DMF Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anne Rice, I have been a fan of hers since I first saw Interview Wth The Vampire when it came out. I speak with her oftenn on her Facebook page and she is such a nice person. It was her work that inspired my vampire book/
     
  23. Zev Steinhardt
    Offline

    Zev Steinhardt New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Another vote for George R.R. Martin.

    His ability to describe places, events and people so as to make them seem so real never ceases to amaze me. Now if only he'd write a bit faster. :)

    Zev Steinhardt
     
  24. marina
    Offline

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    Jandy Nelson has only written one book so far (The Sky is Everywhere), but that novel is filled with such sumptuous prose I keep returning to it again and again. Inspiring indeed.
     
  25. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    Just started reading Game of Thrones a couple days ago... or yesterday. But so far I am in love with the book.

    I am thinking he will definitely help inspire my own fantasy stories. Of course the first few short stories or so will more or less be complete rip offs... lol
     

Share This Page