A Writer's Objectives

Under the Influence

I read… a lot. More than most people I know. In the last two months I’ve been through fourteen books, more than half of them 500+ pages.  I’m sure this is the same for most authors, but I find that whatever I happen to be reading at the time influences my writing greatly.

Recently, I started working on a story I had been writing for several months. I’d been putting it off for a while for various reasons, but the biggest was that I hadn’t been able to get my ‘writing flow’ going. I’d sit in front of a blank word document and think ‘Well, this is productive’ for several minutes before I would just give up. Forcing it wasn’t working.  I often moved on from there to whatever book I happened to be reading at the time.

When I finished a series of five books (The Banned and the Banished series by James Clemens) I decided to give the story another try. This time, I whipped out six and a half pages of writing that, when I read over it, blew me away. I hadn’t written anything like that in a very long time.

It amazes me how I can read a book, or series of books, and take on the writing style of the author like some sort of writing chameleon. My writing is always my own, but it takes on a disguise, so to speak, and becomes very similar to whatever I happen to be reading. Granted, some things I read don’t influence my writing at all. It’s the authors that can suck you into a series, hold you tight and don’t let go until the last word on the very last page of the last book, that tend to influence me most.

How often have you been writing and realized that what you were writing was somehow influenced by the book(s) you had been reading recently? Have you noticed certain types of books or authors influence your writing more than others?


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