Thursday, May 22, 2008

Who is your go-to for inspiration?

I like to read. A lot. Well, duh, no surprises there. But now that I am writing as well as reading, I find myself sometimes riddled with jealousy. As in “God I wish I could write like that.” I suppose it’s healthier to consider it inspiration, so that’s how I choose to see it. I get this way when I read many authors, but three stand out in particular:

Joyce Carol Oates
Yes, I know she’s dark. Her books are not a pick-me-up. But who better can face hideousness head-on, unflinching, using just the right verb to make you feel it, too? I struggle with writing uncomfortable scenes, and I always read a few pages of JCO before tackling something ugly. If she can confront it, I can, too, and I shouldn’t worry about what my mother will think.

Alice Munro
And I’ll have to add Jhumpa Lahiri here as well, since they both can capture a perfect jewel of a story with just the right bittersweet ending. Plus I’m partial to short stories.

Anna Quindlan
The queen of brevity.

So I’ve shown you mine. Now show me yours.


Ed Wyrd said...

Mine are from different worlds than yours. But I'm guessing I write about different worlds than you do, too. So my authors are:

Robert E. Howard. Creator of Conan. Bawdy adventure, full of life and colorful descriptions.

Edgar Rice Burroughs. Creator of Tarzan. Rich imagination, the guy created so many different worlds and filled them with wild and wonderful characters.

Walter Gibson. Wrote The Shadow pulps under the psuedonym of Maxwell Grant. Write something like 282 novels, often writing two 60,000 novels per month, writing at a pace of 10,000 to 15,000 words a day! I can't even fathom that, but I admire it.

Brandy said...

Vicki Iovine, She wrote the "Girlfriends Guide To Pregnancy" and a series following that.

I love her wit, mild straight forward tone like she is actually talking to her girlfriends.

I try and write that way, but to me it comes off as immature instead of funny. So I scrap it. That's why writing is a process I guess! I love your titles by the way, they always make me laugh!

WendyCinNYC said...

Ed--Bawdy works for me. I like a good bawdy tale every now and again.

Brandy--I can't even tell you how many "Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy" I have given away to friends over the years. I was the first of my friends to fall. Great book.

And thanks!

Janna Leadbetter said...

Jan Karon is one for me. Her books are so full of life! You feel you really know the characters in her books, and like you're living in amongst the story. It's a sad feeling when you finish one of her books (from her Mitford Series).

Cate Gardner said...

I find music very inspiring - plus it's an excuse to trawl You Tube when I should be writing.

I think as a reader, the person who most inspired me to write is Daphne Du Maurier.

Anonymous said...

I like authors that give me romance, adventure and happy endings.

Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice. The first literary romance novelist.

Dave Barry - Humor Columns. He makes writing about silly stuff look easy. But it ain't easy. He makes me laugh all the time.

JK Rowling - Harry Potter Series - She's so darn witty. Nobody else can write children growing up in danger quite like she can.