Sunday, July 10, 2011

Inspiring Authors

Today's 30 Day Blogging Challenge prompt: Who are the authors who have inspired you work?

Today's question is a very interesting one.  I can (and will) name a few authors who inspire my work, but I'm not sure any of them would be a direct inspiration.  There's just something in their work that sparks something in mine.

I can't talk about my writing lately without mentioning Nora Roberts.  Her descriptions, while not Dickensian (thank goodness!) are nonetheless sufficient to really place the reader in the setting.  Her characterizations are usually spot on (although everyone does a lot of dragging their hands through their hair when upset or frustrated, but I guess everyone does that).  And her love scenes are written with a obvious heat but carefully chosen words that make them accessible to the general audience (her books are sold in regular bookstores, not adult ones).  Her descriptions of characters actions are detailed enough to let the reader know what is happening but vague enough to allow the reader's imagination to fill in the blanks.  If I had to pick one author I would most like to model my work after, it'd be Roberts.

I guess Vonnegut has also inspired my writing.  Sometimes I'll put a sentence or even just a few words in their own paragraph for emphasis.  I remember when I first came across that technique in Vonnegut and was so surprised at how well it worked.  Since then I've thoroughly ignored the rules of grammar when it suits my purposes.  Vonnegut taught me that it's important to know the rules so that when you break them you can do so in a way that matters.

Many science fiction and fantasy writers have mixed into my brain over the years.  While I don't recognize anything specific of theirs in my writing, I know some of my ideas come from writers like Donalson, Brooks and, probably most importantly, Piers Anthony.

These are the authors I can think of whose work provided some direct inspiration for mine.  That said, I know there are many, many others whose influence is there but unseen.  I think back on all the good literature I was exposed to in high school and college (and why don't kids get exposed to the same classics these days -- but that's fodder for another post).  I'm sure there are influences from them as well.

I don't think any creative person can ever provide a full list of who has influence on their work, no matter the particular field in which they create.  Creative people are like a Cold Stone creation.  Ideas flow in through the senses.  They get folded into whatever's already there.  Eventually, we stop mixing and present the whole conglomeration in a cup for your enjoyment.

We can only hope it's tasty.

Copyright © 2011 Denise Duggan

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