What author influenced you most, to pursue writing?

Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Ashley Harrison, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Justin Phillips

    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    I agree, looney tunes and merry melodies definitely stand the test of time. there were some weird ones later in their development though, gotta say. Yeah I can't watch mickey cartoons anymore as an adult but Looney tunes is still always funny. probably from the amount of slapstick jokes.
     
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  2. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    Aprilynne Pike's Wings is the book that inspired me to start writing. But I think Kelley Armstrong has the most influence over me now. I admire her writing so much, and I often look towards her books for inspiration.
     
  3. TJ Dailey

    TJ Dailey New Member

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    I can still remember the October afternoon.

    The sun was out, it was warm, but the chimney-spice smell of fall was thick in the air.

    My parents were in St. Louis with my sister and her two year old daughter. She had a form of blood cancer that is only supposed to affect the elderly and the severely unlucky.

    She was 24. And unlucky.

    Two months before I was passed over in the MLB draft after receiving calls from the Royals and Dodgers saying I was a definite late-rounder.

    Obviously, neither called back.

    Freshly graduated with a communications degree, childhood dreams shattered, and family hanging in the balance on my sister’s health, I was lost.

    My last two years of college were filled with several courses that I took solely to stay eligible for baseball. Two of those courses were Playwriting and Screenwriting. I was trying my hand at stand-up comedy at the time, so I had a bunch of material ready to use. Why not try them out.

    Well, I ended up winning a playwriting competition and a screenwriting contest those years, and I caught the writing bug.

    The only problem was I didn’t want to move to LA or get involved in that greasy industry.

    But it was on that early October day when The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury came in the mail with a box of books I’d ordered to pass the time while my family was out of town.

    It had a great cover that fit with the beautiful day, so I started with that.

    Add in a pumpkin spice coffee and some Danny Elfman on the patio speakers, and you get the most nostalgia-filled, perfect fall afternoon EVER.

    And, so, it was from that moment on I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life writing crazy, fantastical, autumn-tinged fiction!
     
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  4. Ashley Harrison

    Ashley Harrison Active Member

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    Wow, you're a true wordsmith!
     
  5. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    I love Bill Waterson and Ann McCaffrey for their charcters, but Frank Herbert's Dune transformed the way I thought. Feints within feints, political betrayal, krav maga using future-seeing mind-control witches, ecological teraforming through religion, freaking knife fighting... I still don't understand how he came up with that kind of stuff; how he made all of it sync up and make sense.
     
  6. A.M.P.

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Contributor

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    I suppose Ayn Rand and Terry Goodkind got me really into considering writing more than just for fun.
    And all the other authors who made my childhood better by giving me some fantasy worlds to escape to.
     
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  7. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    My father, he's been a professional writer since I was a child. Also Carl Sagan, I love how he helped introduce the world to really out there cosmological ideas and his style.
     
  8. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Jane Austen. After reading Pride and Prejudice I decided I could do better.
     
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  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Writers that first made me want to write...probably Lovecraft, Tolkien, Howard, Leiber, and others I was exposed to as a kid.

    Writers that really made me want to continue as I got older: Joseph Conrad, Mervyn Peake, Angela Carter, Shirley Jackson, Vladimir Nabokov, Octavia Butler, Tanith Lee, Herman Melville, William Trevor....

    There are others. Really, it's just too damned hard to pick one.
     
  10. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    Thus Spoke Zarathustra? Really?

    I mean, I have a copy of it on my shelf and I have that same lecture series somewhere but... Man Zarathustra is a tough read... (Spoilered because f'king Nietzsche man)

    "One day had Zarathustra fallen asleep under a fig-tree, owing to the heat, with his arm over his face. And there came an adder and bit him in the neck, so that Zarathustra screamed with pain. When he had taken his arm from his face he looked at the serpent; and then did it recognize the eyes of Zarathustra, wriggled awkwardly, and tried to get away. "Not at all," said Zarathustra, "as yet have you not received my thanks! you have awakened me in time; my journey is yet long." "your journey is short," said the adder sadly; "my poison is fatal." Zarathustra smiled. "When did ever a dragon die of a serpent's poison?" - said he. "But take your poison back! you are not rich enough to present it to me." Then fell the adder again on his neck, and licked his wound."

    This is just... Ok then. Good. This is a book of well regarded prose that doesn't induce strokes or anything.

    At least in Gay Science and Beyond Good And Evil it's written as if it's supposed to be read instead of decoded. Not that I'm saying you're wrong for finding inspiration there just... That is an uncommon choice.

    Somewhat boringly I never found any real inspiration from anyone. The only actual books I read withing three years of starting writing fiction were William Gibson books and there's a detectable trace of him there in his wonderfully terse, matter of fact prose describing awful things in almost no words as if not even the narrator gives a damn how awful the world is. That's the one thing he taught me; to be understated is to say so much more than reveling in your creation could ever be. But he definitely didn't inspire me to write.

    No, I inspired me to write. I realized one day that I had typed a bajillion words into chat rooms while high and that I absolutely loved the process. Not talking to people. Just writing. It finally occurred to me that I had easily written a book length project and that, in short, I had no excuse not to actually do that. I'd always wanted to but never really found the inclination. Then I sat down and wrote and discovered to my astonishment that yes, I'm a good writer and I like writing and that's it.
     
  11. Bryman

    Bryman Member

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    Suzanne Collins is the sole reason for why I started writing. When I was in elementary school, her book series "The Underland Chronicles" was in the nearing the end of it's five book run. After some time of hearing about it, I gave the series a go.

    To make a long story short, I fell in love with it and read through the four books that were out at the time within two weeks.

    In my anticipation for the fifth, I began writing my own fifth book with what I'd have liked to happen. It was awful, for sure. Fifth grade me was the worst writer I know today, but he was a writer. All because he was too impatient to read the final installment of his favorite book series.

    From there, after the fifth book finally released, I wrote a sixth book for the series that was no better than my attempt at a fifth, but I loved writing it and indulging myself. From there, I wrote a lot of stuff for pokemon. Eventually I found out that I was writing what was called fanfiction and after writing and reading fanfiction for years, I started trying my hand at my own original pieces.

    And here he, I, am today. The Underland Chronicles is still my favorite book series and I often re-read it when bored or in need of some inspiration. Suzanne Collins, as such, gets every ounce of credit for showing me the joys, and the frustrations, of writing.

    Other authors who ended up having an influence on my writings include; Christopher Paolini with The Inheritance Cycle and countless writers from different websites around the net.
     
  12. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

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    Lately it has been Hunter Thompson but in the past there has been Poppy Z Brite (now Billy Martian) Stephen King, Natsou Kirino and Clive Barker.
     
  13. Ashley Harrison

    Ashley Harrison Active Member

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    It's interesting to notice that no contributor to this post, has mentioned once the name 'William Shakespeare' as an influence to them and their writing. Not even myself.

    In the UK, on the BBC it's Shakespeare season, this poses another question. Is Shakespeare's supremacy in literature finally starting to wane, because as a writer, he has been overrated for so long and his work is extremely self-indulgent?
     
  14. PrincessSofia

    PrincessSofia Active Member

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    Definitely Meg Cabot. When I was a teen,her characters were role models to me , and I love her writing style, so that made me want to write my own novels.

    Also, now, Charlaine Harris because my writing is simple and without frills, and so is hers, so when I started reading her books, I really loved the fact she doesn't try too hard , and also that she uses non-standard english, because that's a thing I do a lot.
     
  15. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Contributor Contributor

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    I think if no one is mentioning Shakespeare it's because he's become so foundational that we simply don't even see his influence anymore. That doesn't mean it's not there, it's just so deep that we don't notice it. No one's mentioned the King James bible either, but I don't think anyone would debate the impact that's had on the English language?
     
  16. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    EL James, because if she can be a bestseller anyone can.

    I'm not being flippant.

    This thread is about personal influence though, not of the English language or literature in general.
     
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  17. Bjørnar Munkerud

    Bjørnar Munkerud Senior Member

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    JK Rowling. A bit of a boring answer, but, well, there was just something about the world-building of Harry Potter I've always really liked. To create such depth in locations, characters, dialogue, meaning, story and plot seems like such a worthwhile and fulfilling prospect with that world in mind. The best thing is that I don't find the aspiration daunting as much as I find it relieving. It seems great to me that I might not end up being anywhere near as successful, wealthy, famous or good as her, but still be able to create something ... magical.
     
  18. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Contributor Contributor

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    @Tenderiser Right. My point, contrary to Ashley's surprise that no one had mentioned Shakespeare as a personal influence, was that we shouldn't expect anyone to. Not that we should take is as a sign that Shakespeare has become less popular.
     
  19. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    When I was four, my mom wanted to be a writer. She had a typewriter and everything. I wrote my first story that year.

    A few years before she died, she sent me that story. It was complete donkey twaddle, but she held onto it for fifty years and sent it to me at a time when I was doubting myself. Seeing it made me remember what writing meant to us both.

    So, who influenced me to be a writer? My mom. Twice.
     
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  20. Ashley Harrison

    Ashley Harrison Active Member

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    The same could be said for Charles Dickens, but writers still credit him if he was influential to them. It doesn't enviably mean it goes without saying, that because people don't in fact mention him specifically by name anymore, that he has obviously been an inspiration for them to write.
     
  21. Miller0700

    Miller0700 Contributor Contributor

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    I tend to get my writing style from J. D. Salinger.
     
  22. Ashley Harrison

    Ashley Harrison Active Member

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    J. D. Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye' is a marvellous novel. That's a great writing style to choose to imitate.
     
  23. joeh1234

    joeh1234 Active Member

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    The author who influenced me to pursue writing was Hunter S Thompson. I have always enjoyed writing but after reading his works I really wanted to give it a go so much so, that I managed to get a a little gig writing for my local paper when I was about 20, it didn't last long but I got a few articles published. His journalism style is just of the wall but his story telling his fantastic and his imagery is something else.
    He is one of my favourite writers but like most I have a few favourite writers whose works have an influence on my writing (HST, Poe, Wilde, Salinger, Child, howard) there's just too many :D
     
  24. Brindy

    Brindy Senior Member

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    My mum instilled a love of words, both reading and writing, long before I appreciated the world fiction opened up to me, (I lost my mum when I was 11), but the author who gave me the reason to write a book is one whose work I have never read, Jacqueline Wilson. In a former married life that was my name and seeing her books on display in the book stores lit a small flame of desire to be the same, and walk past a book I have written, on display in a book store. This year I hope to achieve that, in some small way or some small book store.

    Edited to add: Using a different name, of course.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  25. ChaosReigns

    ChaosReigns Ov The Left Hand Path Supporter Contributor

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    I have always had a love of books, my parent's never quite understood it (as neither particularly enjoy reading) but it wasnt any author who influenced me, but a teacher in Year 5 (i was 10 then) who encouraged me, as i think he saw something in my portrayal of some things, and my love of books, that pushed him to do so, I wasn't the only one he pushed, there were about a dozen of us in the end, who created a small group, purely for writing, some good a poetry, others like me more adept at prose... i still have the notebook on a shelf in front of me where i started writing my first long form story... I keep it there as a reminder of my beginnings...
     
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