This is topic Personal thoughts on Ender’s Game, Reading Preference, Writing Style… in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
I write. It’s what I do. It’s how I keep myself sane. Mostly it’s short stories, poems and rants. I admire people who have the presence of mind to put together full books – I don’t. I get caught up with semantics and worry far too much about how people will pick apart each paragraph to be satisfied with anything I write beyond 10 pages long. A definite fault on my part but I’ve come to accept that part of me.

I’ve read, re-read, re-re-read Ender’s game and am still happy with what I read. I find no need to pick apart details – I just plainly love the book. In some ways, it’s the one single book that makes me kick myself for not having the drive to set my mind to something and simply accept that people may not love it. I’m okay with investing a month or so of my life into something and having people rip me apart, I guess I’m still not confident enough to invest a year or so of my life into something and listening to the ripping…

There are few books in my life I can go back to and read more than once with an enthusiasm comparable to the first time I turned each page… The Color Purple, Parable of the Sower, Twilight Eyes, The Ship Who Sang, Ender’s Game. I might be forgetting one – I don’t think of them all the time. Most of those are the books I find when looking in the case for something to pick up when nothing new strikes my fancy and by looking simply at the binding, I know I’ll be satisfied with a re-read. I should say that I don't think about those books with one exception – Ender’s Game. I think about that book almost every day. I think about the scenario’s that play out, I think about some of the quotes, I think about some of the characters daily. I’m not sure what it is about that one book yet I’m certain it’s played some role in the person I have come to be.

One strange variant I find, though, is that Ender’s Game hasn’t really influenced the way I write in terms of style. I still dig on my own weird ways quite dissimilar to the style in the book. Actually, this whole post is a different sort of style/exercise for me… No real reason for this post other than wondering – is there one book that has helped to shape you? Is there one story that reaches a place inside you more dramatically than any other? If you write and your answer was yes, has that book influenced your writing style?

I was asked recently about my habits (re: reading, writing, randomly deep conversation about both with random people) and it made me think about it a little more when I was by myself with my computer on my lap. I thought about it and wondered what others thought about it. Sorry this post is so long – I probably scared some people off by the length itself – but if you have any thoughts I’m interested…

Posted by striplingrz (Member # 9770) on :
Hmmm lets see. I don't write, wish I could find the time, but don't so can't comment on that part of your post.

I actually re-read tons of books. If it was good, chances are I'll come around to it again in a couple of years. The first book I read cover to cover (as a grade schooler) was "My Brother Sam is Dead". It influenced me in the years to come, as I came to love the subject of American History. As a teen, I read and loved "Pet Cemetary". Didn't influence me much though, other than trying to read more S. King and not enjoying it very much. LOL. I must say though what got me back into reading as an adult was John Grisham's "The Partner". I absolutely love that book and have probably read it 10 times. Finally, I think my guilty pleasure is "The Seventh Son" by OSC. I absolutely adore that book and it led me to all his other stuff. That book is short, but full of wonderful intricacies that play out so great to me.
Posted by Libbie (Member # 9529) on :
I write a lot, too, and am trying to write something good enough to publish. Hasn't happened yet, but I'm still working on it!

Remember, cmc, even books that seem perfect aren't. Every writer makes a flub here or there, and editors don't always catch them. Will it ruin Ender's Game for you if I point out that at one point, Ender is musing about how toon leaders never succeed command of the army they served in...then shortly after that, we learn that Dink Meeker "finally" takes over command of Rat Army after Rose the Nose is graduated...? I hope not! You see? Every book has its little errors. People still love them anyway.

Influenced my writing...hmmmm. Well, I think reading too much Richard Adams at a very early age made me way too verbose and too inclined to go nuts with the imagery rather than tend to my storyline. Oops. Plus, I can write complete, correctly structured sentences a mile long thanks to old Richard. Did you know he has a sentence in Watership Down that spans a page and a half (paperback)? It's a gorgeous sentence, but good lord, is it ever long.

I've been trying to pick up a little influence from OSC in making my imagery short and very sweet. It's not working as well as I'd like it to yet, but practice makes closer to perfect. I've also been trying to pick up some influence from George R. R. Martin on crafting incredibly believable settings, even when they're strange. Also not working so well yet. I've been listening to the audio version of A Game of Thrones recently and taking notes on how he's developed setting. It's an interesting exercise, if nothing else.
Posted by Libbie (Member # 9529) on :
Originally posted by striplingrz:
Finally, I think my guilty pleasure is "The Seventh Son" by OSC. I absolutely adore that book and it led me to all his other stuff. That book is short, but full of wonderful intricacies that play out so great to me.

Guilty pleasure? Why?? That book RULES! [Big Grin]
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
One strange variant I find, though, is that Ender’s Game hasn’t really influenced the way I write in terms of style.
How can a Parable of the Sower fan say that? Shape the change, be shaped by the change...
I guess I would wonder if you had a style you were aware of before reading Ender's Game. I probably did, but not much. I read Ender's Game when I was almost 19. My brother and I had to go on a long walk, and he told me the story of the book (I've never been a spoiler baby) and the idea of the fight with Bonso just preyed on my mind until I read the book.

It may be you love the book so much because it is already consistent with your personal aesthetic.

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