1. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    Your writing style

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by BillyxRansom, Jan 11, 2009.

    When you are writing, do you consciously try to write with all your influences in mind? Or do they just come out, and you notice it when you look at the whole thing from a wide shot?
     
  2. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Interesting questions... to the first, no and I doubt anyone could. The second sounds reasonable, but I've never really thought about it.
     
  3. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    No, I just let things flow without regards to any influences. I only think about those influences during revisions. The influences are still there, however, even if they are noticed or not.
     
  4. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    This is what I was just going to ask you about, before I read that sentence. So you don't exactly disregard purposely any influences.

    That would be impossible, anyway, I think.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Disregarding influences would guarantee their inclusion. Only by consciously being aware of them and taking steps to not let them into your work can you filter your influences.
     
  6. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    I think about my influences before I begin the work, but from there It just sort of flows. here and there I might get an idea from one of my influences.
     
  7. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    Good call, poor wording on my part. I did mean filtering influences by not letting them in. I guess that would be the conscious effort.
     
  8. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    I don't ever consciously try to write from the influence. It usually ends up me notice it after writing everything in my head.

    When I write, I just write. Its like the words create themselves onto the paper. I have a scene in my head and I only see that scene.
    That may be the reason why I have such horrible G part of SPAG.
     
  9. Forgetmenot77
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    Forgetmenot77 Senior Member

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    I don't think so not consciously anyway.
     
  10. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    "Influences"...? The only things that consciously influence my writing are my personal interests, like mythology and psychology. If I set out to write like somebody else whose work I admire I'd write a bunch of junk.

    I can say that there's a Jungian influence on my work, BUT that's in terms of theme and not style. (I have to admit I would not want to write in Jung's style.) I definitely intend it to happen but I never knew it would become so pervasive. In that case it's both conscious and unconscious.

    I think it can be dangerous if a writer consciously tries to incorporate their stylistic influences into their work. One could end up producing a pale copy.
     
  11. othman
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    othman Member

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    I think writing influences in your first draft is very difficult whilst say you have been given an assessment, you can write the influences first time round but you have to plan your rough storyline with a couple of influences and maybe more will pop up mid-writing.
     
  12. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I'm going to say the big picture and the smaller events are one and the same. Whenever parts comes together to make a whole, it’s impossible to separate the two.
     
  13. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I'm going to say the big picture and the smaller events are one and the same. Whenever parts comes together to make a whole, it’s impossible to separate the two.
     
  14. JavaMan
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    JavaMan Senior Member

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    I've tried both to a certain extent. The problem is, I think, that writing is an extremely hard thing to teach. It is, after all, an art - which means that we often have to make up our own rules. Established rules or models are simply proven methods - we may consider - to be built upon.

    Maybe, a different way to ask your question is, "should we be proactive/analytical or creative/spontanious in writing?":confused:
     
  15. Hetroclite
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    Hetroclite Member

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    I do take lessons from other authors & consciously set out to apply them. But I never stay within the boundries of their style. For example, HP Lovecraft had a talent for making people believe the reality of certain objects or places by creating very detailed histories & very realistic sounding newspaper articles. Many readers believed the book Necronomicon actually existed & went looking for a copy. Many believed his towns of Dunwich, Arkham, & Innmouth really existed & went searching maps for them. (I for one.) So many of my works include very detailed histories of locations, by studying the real history of the area then inserting my invented details. However, I never discard any of my work on the basis "No, Lovecraft wouldn't write it that way" because Lovecraft isn't writing the story -- I am. So I balance what I learn from others with my own inspiration.
     
  16. Enki
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    Enki New Member

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    when i write its like i have to write, something is telling me to write, its a drive in which must be followed according to, or ill freak out, and get angry, because i messed out on that ideal. I believe when i write there are other forces working with me in my head to be able to picture certain demensional events, and abstract ideals, or it can just be the evolution of my creativity trying to expand above reality itself, because i believe what we write is what we percieve in our own minds reality. I've had dreams of fantasy worlds. Because ive been writing and reading so much ever sense i was a kid, i was able to imagine and transform the words into ideals of light, in my head. When i do write sometimes i can jut think of it at the top of my head and keep on writing, but i try not to do that, because really its never what you really want, without planing it out first much, you need some kind of reference, but i like thinking of it as i go because its like reality, ones actions are made without coincidence, but were planed because as you write you think of what the character is about to do there fore you have already manifested it in your head making that event about to take place therefore it was already planed in there realm of existence, almost realistic, but for me i don't do much because when im accasionally dealing with various characters and there in different places and your focused on one event at that time, it can be confusing for me.
     
  17. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would never try to write with my influences in mind. It would ruin my whole creative process to stop and conciously try to incorporate my influences into my own writing, because when I write, I cannot be bothered to use proper spelling or grammar; I cant stop to look back until my words are all out on the canvas in front of me. My perspective on it is that the first instinct is exactly what I need to get the emotion across.

    In the revision process, however, it's a totally different ballpark. I go back, use proper SPAG, and try to figure out ways I could more artfully express myself. The writing process is for the emotion, the revision is where the magic really is. And at that point, yes, I often will look back on one of my favourite pieces to admire (I often keep my favourites logged on my laptop for this very purpose, actually) and select the one that best fits at the time.

    However, when I do look back after finishing a piece, my goal is to not be reminded of any author. I want to be totally unique. That said, I can usually spot my influences immediately. :p
     
  18. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    I just kind of let things flow and my influences just kind of show up in the writing. Most of the people that have read some of my influences as well as some of the stuff I've written said you can tell who's influenced me.
     
  19. Mara
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    Mara New Member

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    I don't have any authors that I strive to sound like or try to express myself in a similar way. My "influences" would mostly be my personality and the topics I write about.
     
  20. AaronGrivetti
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    AaronGrivetti Banned

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    You are right, I am also thinking about my influences before writing.
     
  21. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    Interesting questions.

    I often find myself, horribly if I may add, absorbing the style of other authors, unconsciously doing them an injustice while I write. But lately, for me, it hasn't been so much as trying to filter the influences, as it's been allowing them their space in my journey. I've heard many authors, and Bradbury immediately comes to mind, describe imitation, whether direct or indirect, and how it's the path many writers walk to find their voice.

    You get a feel for the way they structure sentences, punctuate--a feel for the way their words and thoughts and images flow, how their mind works and processes things, the more you read them. I think filtering these kinds of things, at least in the beginning, simply impedes your growth as a writer.

    I've also learned recently, the more I write every day, the more I write for the sake of writing in order to create a rhythm, a groove, something I can climb into and call home, allows my own writing to come out naturally and my influences no longer seem to crop up directly, or maybe I'm just no longer aware of them. I don't know. What I do know, however, is the words feel more real, feel more like my own, than anything else, and if I need to, if I'm having trouble structuring a paragraph of action, or a flashback, or how to pace description in a snappy beginning, how to lengthen and shorten my narration, to punctuate my dialogue, what-have-you, I look at those authors who have moved me in someway, and welcome their influence.

    Why would you not want their influence? Haven't you ever read something that's moved you in such a way you cannot speak for a few long minutes? Or moved you to tears, simply because of the way the sentence flows, regardless of the emotions the words themselves evoked? How about an instance where you began laughing uncontrollably, followed by a serious confusion, a terrible confusion, for you could not pinpoint where the joy came from?

    These are the same feelings I wish to touch my reader with, the same experiences I want them to have. And at this point in my journey, I have no clue how to do that. To steal a line from one of my recent shorts about a rockclimber, finding the right words feels like searching for holds that don't exist. But there have been words that came before me, words that transcend meaning and affect us in such a way, we smile before we realize we're smiling, and so I look to them to guide me.

    Give these influences room to breathe, absorb them passionately, allow them into your subconscious, and have faith your voice will surface on its own the more you write.

    That's what I believe, anyway.
     
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  22. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    I dont think it's possible to write without being influenced by something. From the very first text you ever read, your writing style is defined by what you read and hear and see, whether you like it or not. You can probably make a concious descision not to write in a particular style, but you will always borrow from somewhere, even if you think you dont. Basically all your thoughts and ideas that you would like to put down on the paper, aswell as the manner in which you do, is influenced by your experiences throughout your life. What makes your writing unique is combining what you have learned, to create something that is you find interesting, and that is unique to you. At least that is my two cents.
     
  23. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm conscious of being influenced by certain writers I read a lot, namely Joseph Conrad (for how he builds mystery with words), Rudyard Kipling (for his sheer vitality and color - I swear the man wrote with a high-voltage pen!), John Steinbeck (for his originality of imagery), Anthony Burgess (for his dizzying virtuosity with the English language), James Joyce (for his linguistic inventiveness and the beauty of his language), and mostly the poet Robinson Jeffers (for the rhythms of his long-breath lines). There are others, of course; every writer is influenced by everything he's ever read, even if it's just the back of a cereal box, but these are the ones I'm most conscious of.
     
  24. johann77
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    johann77 Member

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    Influence is powerful in story telling.
     
  25. elbow27
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    elbow27 Member

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    I read an article, I think it was in the New York Times, about how what we read immediately before we write affects the outcome. It can be a negative or positive effect. So if you spend two weeks reading nothing (and I mean nothing, no newspapers, blogs etc.) but Fitzgerald and Capote, chances are you will have absorbed a lot of their style. It's really interesting, and makes a lot of sense, considering we each get our own unique take on language from the environment that created us.
     

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