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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Discussing Published Hooks & Books » Who makes you want to write? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Who makes you want to write?
Reagansgame
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I was reading through Mark Twain's (Sam Clemmens) on writing stuff.

...man...

what an inspiring fellow, when taken in quotes. There are those who can write things that will sell, there are those who can tell great stories, but those who really master mankind within their stories by painting the very nature of the human condition with figurative writing -- those are few and far between.

Sam Clemmens is one who makes me want to write. He makes me really want to live out in the world.

Whose words get inside you and infect your mind until you have to get to your nearest writing outlet of choice and just go until the words blur?


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Robert Nowall
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I remember reading Asimov's stuff (among many others) and admiring it...and then he released The Early Asimov (in paperback---I couldn't afford hardcovers in those pre-teen days).

Looking over the stories therein, and his commentary, and I got to thinking..."I can do this." It was a few years before I got a typewriter and could start to do it properly, but the thought came then.

*****

As for any specific work inspiring something...well, I remember, a few years back, I read a comic strip storyline in "For Better or For Worse," which involves one kid in the hospital and the only person to visit him was (from his point of view) his bitterest enemy.

The image wouldn't scrape off (I'm indebted to Theodore Sturgeon for this phrase). It stuck with me for, oh, a couple of years. Eventually I worked it up into an Internet Fan Fiction story.

Sometimes you just have to put something down just to get it off your mind and out of your skull...


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Patrick James
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Who makes me want to write:

Twain(not because he was just mentioned, I would answer his name first everytime.), Asmiov(agian, same as Twain.), Wodehouse, Dickens, and Adams.

These are the authors who make me want to write.

So why do poeple who read my stuff invariably say, 'Hmm, reminds me of early Heinlein(before he learned how to type, or spell.)'.
Well, to be truthful, sometimes they look at it and say, 'Is this from one of the monkeys they've got trying to recreate shakespeare, by randomly banging away at a keyboard?'

Edited to add beloved Douglas Adams.

[This message has been edited by Patrick James (edited October 15, 2008).]


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MrsBrown
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There's a lot of great Sci-Fi/Fantasy out there that make me go WOW, where the writing drives my passion for improving my skills. But, the ideas for my stories and the passion to write them comes from the Bible. I want to interpret the lives of God's people in fantasy, while keeping the heart and intent of the underlying scriptures. That's what drives me to keep picking away (oh so slowly).


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Andre Norton first.
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InarticulateBabbler
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David Gemmell
George R. R. Martin
Robin Hobb
Bernard Cornwell
Conn Iggulden
Robert McCammon
Robert Heinlein
Robert Block
Brian Lumley
OSC
John Sandford
Steve Perry
Robert Ludlum
Steven King
Robert Jordan
Dean Koontz
Robert E. Howard
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Brandon Sanderson
John Saul
John D. MacDonald
R. A. Salvatore
Tad Williams
Anne Rice
Frank Herbert
Brian Herbert
Kevin J. Anderson
James L. Nelson
Mario Puzo
Peter Straub
Piers Anthony
Charles Dickens
Ben Bova
Alexandre Dumas
Jules Verne
H. G. Wells
Clive Cussler
Clive Barker
Gary Brandner
Terry Brooks
Terry Goodkind
Dan Brown
Michael Crichton
Brian Jaques
Patrick Rothfuss
Steven Gould
L. Sprague de Camp
Octavia E. Butler
Michelle Paver
J. R. R. Tolkien
Michael Moorcock
James Silke
and James Clavell have all inspired me in some ways. But as to who makes me want to write: the answer is me. It's something inside that compels me to aspire to be better, to delve into the passages I spill out on paper.

I used to want to write like a few authors, and I wouldn't be unhappy if I sold as many books or had as many fans, but no more. The older I get, the less I want to be like anyone; I just know it's inevitable.

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited October 15, 2008).]


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satate
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No one makes me want to write. I like a lot of authors and books but reading them has never made me want to write. Probably because if they're good I think I could never do it as well and if they're bad then it doesn't inspire me. For me, it's part of my addiction to stories. When I read a good book I get addicted to it and I can't put it down. I don't want to eat or sleep. I neglect my family, it's bad. I have to give myself space between so that I can catch up what I let go when reading. When I'm not reading I go through withdrawals. To fulfill the void I write my own stories. So after reading a good book, I never fill the urge to write since it's like I just had my fix. It's a little while after reading that I start to get jittery with needing a story.

For me the things that bring inspiration about writing are other forms of art besides reading. I fill most inpsired to write when listening to music, looking at art or even watching a good movie. After experiencing good art my favorite thing to do is write and it's when the ideas and story flow the best.

Anyone else ever feel like this or am I just a little wierd?


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philocinemas
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I suppose the first real novel I ever read, The Hobbit, inspired me to write fiction. Although movies have largely inpired me to continue writing.

[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited October 17, 2008).]


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annepin
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Kathleen, I've never read Andre Norton. Which of her books would you recommend?
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Robert Nowall
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If Kathleen doesn't get to it right away, I'll recommend Andre Norton's Star Man's Son (a. k. a. Daybreak---2250 AD) There is a lot of material---Andre Norton was a prolific writer.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I think the first Andre Norton I read was STAR RANGERS, and I loved it. STAR MAN'S SON was another good one. The book that really did it for me though, was ORDEAL IN OTHERWHERE because it was not only science fiction, but it had a female protagonist. WOW! I really loved that.
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Robert Nowall
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We should also mention the "Witch World" series of novels, which were certainly popular (though I admit I never really "took" to the ones I read)...
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arriki
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My favorite Norton is THE TIME TRADERS. Did you realize she's written a novel starting with every letter of the alphabet?

Who makes me want to write? All those horrible novels, and they are legion, that get published only to waste paper and readers' time. I can do better than those!


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Antinomy
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Who inspires me to write? My muse, Ellie.

Yes, she has a name and a strong will as well. Whenever she has a story idea she demands my immediate attention, that I get to work on it pronto, even if it is 3:00 in the morning.


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KStar
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It's music and artwork for me.

When I was kid I started writing by making up stories about paintings. Then I started playing a couple instruments, and they made me want to write too. Then I started listening to music as a teenager, and now it's music all the way. Smashing Pumpkins really set it off for me.


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Unwritten
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Satate: I'm exactly the same way, although I don't know if that saves you from being weird. The lyrics in music especially inspire me to write. I'll hear a great song and wonder how I could make that emotion in a story, and find I've daydreamed a whole novel. I can become obsessed with certain songs when I'm writing. Michael Buble's I'm Your Man and Bon Jovi's You Want To Make A Memory are a couple of the songs that make me want to write at the moment.

(The rest of the things you said about neglecting your responsibilities and feeling like you just had your "fix" sound eerily like me as well)

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited October 31, 2008).]


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satate
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It's nice to know I'm not alone
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Desmond Hodges
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OSC and Simon R. Green

These two authors are at two different ends of the spectrum but they both inspire me. When I put one of their books down I either want to pick another one up or write my own. I love OSC’s mastery of psychology. He has a way of making feel so attached to the protagonist that I have to imitate him. I feel like each story can both entertain and teach you. Every one of his ideas comes off the page and captures my attention. Simon R. Green on the other hand takes me on a ride that is unparalleled. I never know what he’s going to do next and what new twist will cause me to see the characters and his fictional universe in a new light.


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Crystal Stevens
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Actually, well known writers tend to intimidate me more than inspire me. I wonder if I'll ever be able to write that well. What inspires me more are books that I can't begin to get interested in. I just know I can write something much better than that. Other books that inspire me can be one that I might get a story idea from that has nothing to do with the book itself.

So, for me at least, it's not always the author but the book .

[This message has been edited by Crystal Stevens (edited November 29, 2008).]


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jmricks
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For me there are four major authors who have inspired me to want to write speculative fiction: Orson Scott Card, Frank Herbert, Robert Jordan, and George r.r. Martin. I always thought thrillers would be "my" genre, but after discovering Herbert, Jordan, and Martin in high school (I first read Ender's Game in 6th grade) I knew that speculative fiction was where I wanted to tell stories.
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BoredCrow
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I think the three authors that made me want to write are Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness), Joseph Heller (Catch-22), and Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird).

All stories are beautifully written, and each changed my life in some way, or at least my way of looking at the world. It remains my ultimate goal to write a story that can so profoundly affect someone's life.

And in my opinion, Catch-22 is the most perfectly written book I've ever come across. Every single sentence contains some part of the overall parody of life. And then, just when you're sucked into the world Heller has created... he turns it all on its head to show just how tragic and true this parody is. Ugh, I'm not explaining it well, but I so love that book. I don't know if I'll ever be that great a writer, or how to achieve such an effect, but I suppose it's good to have a goal to work toward.


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InarticulateBabbler
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BC, have you read McCammon's Boy's Life? It was heavily inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird, just in 1960s Alabama, and with a bit of magic.
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BoredCrow
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I haven't yet, so I shall have to add that to my reading list.
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smncameron
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Kerouac makes me want to live.
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Dogmatic
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Besides OSC of course, my favorite right now is Neil Gaiman. His descriptions are simple and to the point but can make your skin crawl. The opening line in his The Graveyard Book - "There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."

As far as books go "Blue Highway" by William Least Heat-Moon and "Travels with Charlie" and "Canery Road" by John Steinbeck. They're not the best written books ever but then again the question was who makes you want to write.

I'd have to also add John Guare, although he's a playwright and anything by the Cohen Brothers when it comes to film.

Steve


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Bent Tree
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I never even entertained the thought of writing until I saw Steven Kings book on writing in the library. Then it just sort of dawned on me.

But I guess it is ME who makes me want to write. Asimov, Sir Clarke, Heinlein, Bova, Card, Crichton, etc... influence the way and what I write, but It is I who longs to tell tales.


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billawaboy
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Reagansgame,

Man, you hit it right on the head for me. Mark Twain is pretty much the reason why I look at writing as more than just a side activity. The man showed what one could accomplish with the written word and he did it, imho, better than anyone else.

I remember just aching to get out of high school (loooong ago) so I could read as much of Innocents Abroad before hitting the books. His descriptions of the people and the places he visited are just...sublime.

One of my favorite short pieces of his that I read at least once a year is Political Economy.

Hands down my fav Author.

In sciFi Asimov really inspires me to emulate his writing - I know his writing is not literary stylistically - but if I would love to write as clearly as he does. 2nd probably Clarke.

In Fantasy - probably only one author really inspires me to write - Ursula Le Guin with her Earthsea Saga. (I wasn't a big fan of Left hand or Disspossed). That series is so good - and permit this blasphemy - I think it's better than Tolkien's work. now I respect Tolkien's work, but he/it does not inspire me to write.

Crap: Forgot about Wodehouse!!!! Definitely add Wodehouse to the list.

[This message has been edited by billawaboy (edited January 25, 2009).]


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dreadlord
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my inspirations would be C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Rowling, Terry Brooks, Brian Jacques, T.A. Barron, and OSC. most of my writing has influences from most of those authors.

and quite a few quirks from my litle brother.


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DerekBalsam
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I'm going to be entirely unoriginal and say Tolkien and Lewis as well. But I don't care if that's unoriginal, it's the truth.

Oh, and although he's not a fiction writer, Douglas Hofstadter, author of Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. That book was an fascinating, complex, and inspiring meditation on the union of art, music, and mathematics. Although nonfiction, the book had amazingly intricate plotting.


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Denem
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Tolkien and Goodkind come to mind for me, but also the late Robert Jordan (RIP). The Wheel of Time just seemed to come alive for me and made me think of interesting things I could put in my own writing.
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Darth Petra
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Victor Hugo
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Edgar Alan Poe
Alexandre Dumas


Yeah, I'm a classic freak.


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melme54
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Terry Pratchett makes me wish I could write humor, Stephen King makes me wish I could write horror, Robert Jordan/George R.R. Martin/Tolkien/other make me want to write fantasy, ::too many to name:: make me want to write sci-fi...

Now if I'd only get off my butt and write... Or rather, sit on my butt and write!


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Jason R. Peters
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OSC, obviously, though I wanted to be a writer long before I discovered him.

Since Card, the person who's most renewed my respect for the printed page, and the power of fantasy, is Brandon Sanderson.


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fugsspot
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Oh, there are so many...

and Satate, I'm on the weird bandwagon with you. With a good book I lose all sense and will stay up all night to keep reading. I have even been known to book off work on the day a particularly special book is being released, just because I know I'll be compelled to read until it's done. I also reread books over and over again.

I read almost everything, but some favorites: Heinlein, Adams, Jean Auel, Clancy, and i LOVE Terry Pratchett.


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JasonHall
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The story that started it all was LOTR. That pretty much set in motion a flood of ideas in my head for stories. Honestly though, any story I've read that touched me or made me sit back and think Wow.. makes me want to write. That list could be as long as IB's. In the end its the hope that one day someone might think that about my stuff and admire it like I did all those great stories I've read in my life. Its the desire to create something that leaves a lasting impression for somebody.. anybody.

Kind of a cheesy answer but that's what does it for me.

Jason


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JenniferHicks
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I realized in the sixth-grade I wanted to write my own stories. The authors whose work I loved at that time: OSC, Anne McCaffrey, C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Ursula Le Guin, Madeleine L'Engle.
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Marita Ann
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This is going to be kind of embarrassing, but the thing that first got me writing stories was Pokemon. Yes. Please don't laugh at me. I was in 5th grade and I was obsessed. I also started writing poetry after we did a unit on it in 5th grade and I found I liked it a lot.

In terms of authors who inspire me to write, I have to say Paolini, and not because of his writing skills. I spent an entire month with my friend's copy of Eldest and was unable even open it, because every time I looked at it I thought, "This kid wrote this book and got it published. I could do that too!"


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JenniferHicks
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I feel the same way about Stephenie Meyer. I have no interest in reading Twilight, but her story inspires me: a 30-something mother with young children and no real writing experience writes a novel loved by millions. Maybe I'm afraid to read her work because I won't like it and I'll lose my respect for what she has accomplished.

[This message has been edited by JenniferHicks (edited July 30, 2009).]


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Lyrajean
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Tolkien of course...

Also Roger Zelazny, Lloyd Alexander, John Christopher (aka Samuel Dowd), Asimov, James White and many others I can't pull to the surface of my mind right now...


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valjean03
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Somebody you probably never heard of. His name is Louis Cha, and he made me want to writer because his characters are very three dimensional, and his stories are so prolific unlike any other. He was runner up for the Nobel Prize in literature, but he is little known here in the west (thus he lost his nomination because he is little known in the west.) The entire China has either heard or read of his books, even the grandparents who don't usually read books has heard of Louis Cha. For some westerners, you might know his through Legend of Condor Heroes.
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rich
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The kidnapper who has the gun to my head.

Mom and Dad,
I am fine. The food is good, and my captors are really just a bunch of okay guys; not your average rebel guerillas. My captors need an additional $10,000.00, or they will send you another digit. Hope all is well. Give my love to Sis, and give Spot a hug for me.

(By the way, I'm sending along my class ring as I no longer need it.)

Love,
Rich


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ScardeyDog
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lol
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LlessurNire
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Robert Jordan and OSC inspire me. In both cases, they created entire worlds that I became completely lost in. My dream would be to one day write an epic series of my own. Still working on the basics, and trying to write a believable short story first though!

There are countless other authors I love and it is my love for reading that really inspires me to write.

As far as short stories go, some of my favorite authors as appeared in F&SF magazine over the last couple of years are:

Robert Reed,
Charles Colman Finley,
Albert E. Cowdrey,
Matthew Hughes,
Carolyn Ives Gilman,
Fred Chappell


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dee_boncci
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At present Stephen King and George R R Martin lead the pack.
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Foste
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What makes me want to write...

It's hard to say truly. I have ideas I just want to put to paper.
And I enjoy every minute of it.

Now as far as admiration goes...
George R.R. Martin (plot weaver par excellence)
Patrick Rothfuss (I love how the man handles words: there's true music in it)
Brandon Sanderson (Novel magic systems)
Robin Hobb (Character, character, character...)


We've done Emerson recently at college, his essay the "The Poet" is quite inspiring too.


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BrandonM
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Before I read the book that changed my life, I just wanted to write for video games. Before I read The Eye of the World, I abhored reading! We all know that reading Robert Jordan's works is a dang mission, especially if it is the first book that you ever sat down and read. I love this guy and his works, after reading TEotW, I decided that I wanted to write books, but I always have this dream of writting a loooooooooong epic. I'm not talking Xanth or Discworld lengths though...hahahaha...but no, his works really influenced me to write.
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TrishaH24
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The first time I remember wanting to be a writer was in second grade. I don't know why, but I decided I was going to write books. (Not kids books with pictures. I wanted to write looong books with chapters.)

But it wasn't until I read my first fantasy book that I figured out exactly what being a writer would mean for me. I was eleven and picked up a book called Giftwish by Graham Dunstin Martin. Never heard of him? You probably never will (outside of this). But he inspired me to start telling stories. I've been writing ever since.

Along the way I've come across tons of writers that challenge me to do better. J.V. Jones was one of the first "grown up" authors I read. (FYI Baker's Boy is not appropriate for a 12 year old.) Robert Jordan, Terry Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, etc. gave me markers to measure myself against (and yes, I realize those are lofty goals). But ultimately I write for myself. Oh, and my sister who is literally going to slap me upside the head if I don't finish one of my stories soon.


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Smaug
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I've gotta say that Dr. Seuss first made me want to write. Other big influences have been Wilson Rawls, James Baldwin, and Eudora Welty, Charles Dickens, and Herman Melville. Gosh, if I could only write with the beauty of Welty or Baldwin, or the humanity of Dickens and the psyco-introspection of Melville. There are many other influences, too many to name really, but Twain is among them as is Shakespeare. Funny, I haven't mentioned any spec fiction authors, but they're out there. I know in my younger days Stephen King made me think I wanted to write.
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Denem
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Who makes me want to write?
The voices in my head. They're usually just aimless thoughts that don't make any sense, so I might as well write them down. Maybe they'll look more lucid on the page.

Oh great! Here they go again.


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andersonmcdonald
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Howard Pyle, Louis L'Amour, Lloyd Alexander, John Dickson Carr, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Let's see, who else...?
Tolkien, Agatha Christie, G.K. Chesterton, G.R.R. Martin, Bernard Cornwell. A whole bunch of others I can't recall a the moment.

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