Friday, 8 January 2010

Coffee Break – Influences

Ignoring my last post here is a slightly delayed Coffee break. I have some crackerbread, water and black coffee – forgot the milk, must do a big shop.
I also have some Russian Vodka and cake which a work colleague brought back from Moscow so feel free to have some.

The topic this week is influence or influences. What influences you? What is influencing you in your writing right now? I myself, after swearing I wouldn’t, have become a bit of a Twi-hard (that’s a term for a Twilight fan in case you didn’t know). All I want to do is write about Vampires and Werewolves. When I read Heaven Can Wait by fellow racer Cally Taylor all I wanted to do was write about the Supernatural and the same for Harry Potter – why can’t I write about a bunch of wizards?

If I am reading a book in the First Person that’s the way my writing goes. I have just read a story which switches between 2 POV which I will more than likely be applying to my next shorty.

Do you have a particular style of writing or does it change with each influence? I personally think my writing is all over the place and you couldn’t assign my name to all my stories as they are all so different in style.

Also on a sort of separate note (it could be classed as influence if you want) as it came up in the comments of my last post but I really want to know:

What did you do before Google?

13 comments:

Flowerpot said...

I get inspiration from people like Elizabeth Berg but she doesnt influence the way I write - I'd get too confused by that! But I do tend to write in the first person because that suits me better. As for style of writing - I don't know. You'd have to tell me! As for pre-Google. Spend a lot of time in the library!

Leatherdykeuk said...

It's taken me a long time, during which my reading dropped almost to nil, to not be influenced by what i've read. I think my whole genre was influenced by Pratchett and Gaiman, and that's certainly who I aspire to.

Last week my daughter ventured into the study and stared at the bookshelves. "This," I said, "Is a sort of hard-copy google."

JJ Beattie said...

Evening all (it is here.) There are books I wish I'd written and wonderful writing I admire but I don't want to write like those authors.

I want to find my own voice... I think you just have to write a lot to achieve that. Maybe I haven't written enough yet.

On the whole I don't find reading alters the way I write. I still read lots for pleasure and struggle to read like a writer.. I have to keep reminding myself to check out how they're doing things.

Who influences me? I don't know. I suppose good writing that moves me and takes me into the world they're describing make me want to write. My idols have changed over the years as my reading habits have changed.

Oh dear god: the thought of writing before the internet and google fills me with panic!

liz fenwick said...

Good question. Right now I am trying to absorb styles of several deferrent writers knowing that it really won't change my voice but I can learn from their sucessful styles. It has taken my at least five years to feel I could do this and not just parrot out what i was reading. I do feel that I have benifitted from all the good books I have read - particularly since I have truly focused on my writing. I now no longer read without seeing the craft behind it - when that happens I am awed and will back and rereaded to see if I can spot it on second read.

Before feeling i could read in the same genre as i write I would read bios and history wwhile writing.

Before google - the library of course :-)

lx

Rowan Coleman said...

Hello all. Vodka for me please. Its been one of those days. Hmmmm influences - I think its pretty important to not let anyone influence you voice. JJ and Liz are right - you need to find your own style and stick to it, which I think I do in both my adult and teen fiction. But I know what you mean, if I'm reading a book whilst writing one, especially one I love, its a fight not to write in the style of. For me its a question of what influences me more than who. (right now for example its panic!) It can be weather, how i'm feeling, something I see on the news or over hear in a cafe. I'm often accused of being a world of my own, but really its more that I'm absorbing the world around me. Which sounds pretentious -where's that vodka?

Karen said...

Ooh, I'll have some cake please!

When I'm writing I tend to read novels in a different genre just so I'm not subliminally influenced, but I know what you mean about being tempted to copy a style after reading a book you particularly love! I often used to finish a novel and feel quite dejected thinking "I'll never be able to write like that," but I suppose the point is that you shouldn't - you should write like "you".

Before Google I would use the library, but I think the Internet has revolutionised writing for me - yes it's been that dramatic!

Calistro said...

If a writer has a very strong voice I can't help but start writing in a similar way which is why I can't read ANYTHING (anything fictional anyway) while I'm writing.

I'm less influenced by trends. In fact I'd rather avoid something that's a trend.

ChrisH said...

Sorry to be so late... will jsut have the vodka tonight please, even though I don't like it, but just feeling a bit glum. No doubt all will look better in the morning.
Voice? think I was lucky to find my own quite early. Lots of writers who I admire.

penandpaints said...

Hi
I've recently been influenced by hearing about Cally Taylor's novel, chapter 5 of my unfinished teen novel had the same title. It reminded me to GET ON WITH IT!
I am permanently impressed at the world of information at our fingertips Google-wise. It's made life a bit easier, but at the same time, rather time consuming. You google one thing, then read something else, a link to another site, so on...three hours have past and no work has been done.
Or is that just me? :)

Debs said...

I'd better not have coffee, it's 4.45 in the morning (went to sleep at 10pm and now can't sleep). Maybe I should stick with water for now.

I'm not sure what influences me, but I write what I like to read, so I suppose I must be influenced by past books that I've read, or at least the genre.

I can't imagine being without google now. I know it means a lot less toing and froing from the library carrying heavy books.

Serendipity said...

It's early(ish) here but I still think I could indulge in cake please.

I sometimes feel genres, events, allsorts influence me, as right now I still feel I want to write all things Christmas but I'm pretty sure it is my style of writing that comes through. I can recall, when first starting out trying to emulate styles but it never really worked.

As for research thank goodness for Google, it is there because even if I was to able to buy, read, digest all the reference books I needed my personal hardrive (aka brain!) is definitely full! ;-) x

HelenMHunt said...

The writer I most admire is Kate Atkinson - but I don't really aspire to write like her because I know I never could, and as others have said, you shouldn't really try to emulate another writer anyway.

I think what you can do though as you read, is to pick up on some of the specific ways that a particular writer makes their writing work and that can inform the way you write. I hope that's the way it works anyway.

Annieye said...

I don't read and write at the same time, if you know what I mean.

I'm so scared of inadvertently copying someone else's work, or being influenced by a certain style, that I tend to stop writing if I'm reading a book.

'Rules' are influencing me right now. I am re-writing 'Sunlight on Broken Glass' to fit the market, and it feels disturbingly like work. I feel like I am writing a Council committee report, but I have to admit that leaving it alone for nearly a year has helped me to distance myself from the novel and analyse what needs to be done, so it's not all bad.