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Mendalla
Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2018 10:14:55 AM

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Location: Somewhere amongst the trees
So, I imagine most on here who write (which is, indeed, most of us) have writers we've read over the years that we consider inspirational, whose ideas or style have slipped into our own. So who are your literary inspirations?

A couple for me:

H. P. Lovecraft - leaving aside his racism and classism for a moment, HPL's ideas about horror and creating a kind of dark background to reality that we explore at our peril definitely inspired me. Just look at "Voice of Ice" on here if you need to see that. I probably had some of his style at one time, too, and may still have some of it but I've tried to get away from some elements of it (repeated emphasis of rather odd, obscure adjectives like "squamous").

Clark Ashton Smith - less well-known than his friend Lovecraft, CAS wrote "weird fantasy" that is definitely an inspiration for my fantasy stories (not so much "Night of the Wind" but definitely the sequel I'm toying with). His short stories and occasional novellas (he never did write anything that would really qualify as a novel) paint word pictures of strange exotic worlds, usually with a dark edge to them. He also borrowed from Lovecraft (and vice versa), frequently bringing his friend's cosmic horror into the mix. Like Lovecraft, his stuff his now mostly Public Domain so just search him up on Project Gutenberg or other PD literary sites.


Featured Story:
Night of the Wind - (Fantasy) A mysterious traveller, a strange storm, a chaotic night for a small town.

Other works:
Spooky People - (Poetry) A playful verse for Hallowe'en.
On Seeing the Light (Re)born - (Poetry) A reflection on seeing the sun rise while on vacation
Voice of Ice - (Horror) A powerful winter storm leads a professor to a disturbing discovery
magnificent1rascal
Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2018 11:19:19 PM

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This is a tough one. I’m a “streaky” reader so a lot of writers have influenced me. To name a few:

- Erma Bombeck
- Dave Barry
- Patrick McManus
- Tom Robbins
- John Steinbeck
- Larry McMurtry
- Tom Wolfe
- Barbara Kingsolver

Gee, there should be more women on this list. Let me work on that...

Connect with Maggie

Like my Facebook fan pages: Maggie Rascal and M.P. WitwerFriend me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maggierascalFollow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Maggie1Rascal
gypsy
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2018 6:41:36 AM

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I agree, this is a tough one. I read a lot, but not all writers I like, love, or just appreciate have influenced me as a writer, although their work may have had a profound effect on me.

As a writer, though, I can safely say these have influenced me:

The women in my family, my mother, grandmother and aunts, because they were letter writers, in the days when that was how communication between people who were not living close by communicated. They wrote lots of letters, every week, and with my siblings we learned at a young age how to write them. We were also expected to respond to ones we received with a return letter.

Colette
Shirley Jackson
Elizabeth Gaskell
Madeleine L'Engel

Theodore Seuss Geisel, alias Dr Seuss
James Thurber
Italo Calvino

All the above for diverse reasons. Colette was a writer of both fiction, essays, observations, and she was also a war journalist during the first world war.
Shirley Jackson can build creeping suspense like no other writer I can think of, written without anything unnecessary in the prose.
Elizabeth Gaskell had an ear for dialogue and accents, and in some of her writing, one can hear the speaker's voice loud and clear.
Madeleine L'Engel worlds I wanted to live in, when I read her as a child, and I would make up my own stories to live in, inspired by her.

Dr Seuss - my first and most lasting inspiration, especially in many of the light hearted, word experiment poems I write. He helped me learn to read, and if nothing else, that is the greatest inspiration of all.
James Thurber, because he is just so observant and funny about how ridiculous life can be.
Italo Calvino, for teaching me how to break the fourth wall and how by doing that, the story opens itself in a way that is not expected.




The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



Survivor
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2018 9:40:33 AM

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I have never really analyzed my work or taken the time to develop a writing philosphy. I simply decided about six years ago that I could write just about as well as a lot of the folks I was reading. It began there and I wrote and wrote.

In the past, during my life, I've read thousands of books and hundreds (if not thousands) of authors. I've never really noticed that any of them influenced the way I wrote. But if we are talking of authors that inspired us, then I can come up with quite a few. I won't bother to list them all because they are 'legion' as they used to say.

Raymond Chandler weaves a wonderful story that keeps a reader interested and wanting to dive in and explore his world. With the tools of the trade necessary to stay alive, like a gat or two.

Kenneth Roberts really can spin a tale. His stories of the sea and the people that worked and fought there are always fun to read.

Shirley Jackson could write in so many voices and worlds. Humor and suspense and horror. She is truly inspiring as a writer.

Lucy Maud Lovelace and Lucy Maud Montgomery remind me of each other in a number of ways. Not the least is their way of telling great stories of and for girls (and boys like me.)

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) inspired me in a lot of ways. He was a great writer of wit. Making one laugh out loud with his commentary on the humans around him.

Anne Tyler never fails to give me the pleasure of introducing me to strange and fascinating people, involving me in her world.

C. S. Forestor can keep one inside his novels for hours on end, making you want to be there and see the action, and hoping and praying the inhabitants of his world will succeed in their endeavours.

I could go on and on. I'll take a break now. Cheers.



Mendalla
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2018 10:43:22 AM

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Posts: 411
Location: Somewhere amongst the trees
Survivor wrote:


Shirley Jackson could write in so many voices and worlds. Humor and suspense and horror. She is truly inspiring as a writer.



I'd count Jackson as an inspiration at a broad level but I could never hope to write like her. The subtlety of something like "After you, my dear Alphonse" or The Haunting of Hill House, which has to be one of the subtle works of horror ever, is so difficult to achieve.

Featured Story:
Night of the Wind - (Fantasy) A mysterious traveller, a strange storm, a chaotic night for a small town.

Other works:
Spooky People - (Poetry) A playful verse for Hallowe'en.
On Seeing the Light (Re)born - (Poetry) A reflection on seeing the sun rise while on vacation
Voice of Ice - (Horror) A powerful winter storm leads a professor to a disturbing discovery
magnificent1rascal
Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2018 12:46:07 AM

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Posts: 2,279
Location: On the ragged edge of disaster
gypsy wrote:
The women in my family, my mother...

Oh yes! My mother inspired my writing more than anyone else. She was a talented writer herself, an insightful critique partner, my first writing collaborator, and a thoughtful reader of my work.

gypsy wrote:
James Thurber, because he is just so observant and funny about how ridiculous life can be.

I should probably add James Thurber to my list as well. kekekegay

Two other writers I might include, not only because I like their writing but also because of advice they’ve given me in person, are J.A. Jance and Karen Joy Fowler. J.A. Jance was the keynote speaker at a writers conference I attended last year, and Karen Joy Fowler spoke with me a few years ago during a charity auction to which we had both donated items.

Finally, it is apparent that I need to read more Shirley Jackson. study

Connect with Maggie

Like my Facebook fan pages: Maggie Rascal and M.P. WitwerFriend me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maggierascalFollow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Maggie1Rascal
Mendalla
Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2018 8:04:36 AM

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Posts: 411
Location: Somewhere amongst the trees
magnificent1rascal wrote:

Finally, it is apparent that I need to read more Shirley Jackson. study


Please do. You won't regret it. I have a collection of her shorts (The Lottery and Other Stories) and The Haunting of Hill House on my bookshelf and crack one or the other fairly regularly.

Featured Story:
Night of the Wind - (Fantasy) A mysterious traveller, a strange storm, a chaotic night for a small town.

Other works:
Spooky People - (Poetry) A playful verse for Hallowe'en.
On Seeing the Light (Re)born - (Poetry) A reflection on seeing the sun rise while on vacation
Voice of Ice - (Horror) A powerful winter storm leads a professor to a disturbing discovery
gypsy
Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2018 12:36:13 PM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 1,569
magnificent1rascal wrote:

Finally, it is apparent that I need to read more Shirley Jackson. study


Yes, do. One of the most chilling and perfect stories of all time, in my opinion, is The Summer People.

https://www.bustle.com/articles/200133-10-shirley-jackson-short-stories-for-fans-of-the-queen-of-horror

The Summer People is linked on the above page.



The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



Mendalla
Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2018 12:48:07 PM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 4/23/2014
Posts: 411
Location: Somewhere amongst the trees
gypsy wrote:
magnificent1rascal wrote:

Finally, it is apparent that I need to read more Shirley Jackson. study


Yes, do. One of the most chilling and perfect stories of all time, in my opinion, is The Summer People.

https://www.bustle.com/articles/200133-10-shirley-jackson-short-stories-for-fans-of-the-queen-of-horror

The Summer People is linked on the above page.


Good list. Just reading through the stories listed would be a good intro to her short fiction.


Featured Story:
Night of the Wind - (Fantasy) A mysterious traveller, a strange storm, a chaotic night for a small town.

Other works:
Spooky People - (Poetry) A playful verse for Hallowe'en.
On Seeing the Light (Re)born - (Poetry) A reflection on seeing the sun rise while on vacation
Voice of Ice - (Horror) A powerful winter storm leads a professor to a disturbing discovery
gypsy
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 11:57:19 AM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 1,569
Angela Carter

Cripes, I can't believe I overlooked her.

d'oh!



The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



Rumple_deWriter
Posted: Friday, November 9, 2018 1:08:09 PM

Rank: Story Moderator
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Posts: 430
Location: lost in the ozone west of Apache Junction
Just for the hecky-darn of it, here are eight southern writers who either inspired' or maybe just 'influenced' me to write fiction.

female:
Zora Neale Hurston
Eudora Welty
Harper Lee
Flannery O'Connor

male:
John Kennedy Toole
William Faulkner
Thomas Wolfe
Tennessee Williams

glasses8

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords.[/ - ROBERT HEINLEIN

OF WAR, AND PEACE, AND MARY BETH: my contest winner, honest

For Whom the Good Tolls an 'RR' and it's short, no kidding

Dancing to Ray Charles: Ch 01-20, Two Dancers love, friendship, betrayal, integrity, compromise racism, church fire bombings, the Ku Klux Klan, the Vietnam war, class differences, changing values, redneck honky-tonks plus other fun stuff
Survivor
Posted: Friday, November 9, 2018 1:18:47 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 12/21/2012
Posts: 3,020
Location: bajo un árbol de álamo
Rumple_deWriter wrote:
Just for the hecky-darn of it, here are eight southern writers who either inspired' or maybe just 'influenced' me to write fiction.

female:
Zora Neale Hurston
Eudora Welty
Harper Lee
Flannery O'Connor

male:
John Kennedy Toole
William Faulkner
Thomas Wolfe
Tennessee Williams

glasses8


I'd surely add Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor to my list. There are scads of women authors that largely go unrecognized.



verbal
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2018 9:41:43 PM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 7/21/2015
Posts: 8
Good thread. Glad to see Shirley Jackson mentioned so often.

My own list (I will try to keep this short):
Elmore Leonard - for dialogue and shifting POV
Shirley Jackson - for all rather reasons given above
David Foster Wallace - for those long, beautiful, looping sentences
Stephen King - natural storyteller, just hits all the right notes
John Irving - for World According to Garp, a perfect book, funny and sad and wise
Kurt Vonnegut - made me want to get a writer
Obituarius
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 10:17:51 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 12/5/2018
Posts: 28
Edgar Allen Poe
Robt. McCammon
Peter Straub
Agatha Christie
Nelson DeMille


I could on and on, but I believe they have helped make me a pretty, "dawg gone writer." I'm sure some will disagree.
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