The Light of Every Story We Have Read

‘We write by the light of every story we have ever read.’

I think this quote rings true for lots of reasons, and its evident from my writing over the years. You can tell which books/authors/styles were making a big impact as I wrote them. In late 2012-early 2013 I read the Lord of The Rings series. So of course I wrote high fantasy, long sentences that the reader has to wade through to actually find the content. Tolkien did it well- me, not so much. In fact, some of my earlier Tolkien-esque works, words were used in blaringly wrong contexts. Even though its barely been a year, I’m ashamed. When I read Harry Potter aged 6-7, all of my writing inexpertly took on a whimsical, magic feel, and I started writing fantasy. I’m glad I started on the fantasy route, though, because before that, I unfortunately wrote High School Musical Fan-fiction (and then I walked into the classroom and Gabriella was sitting at my desk!! We became best friends and shared sandwiches.’) I changed a lot when I read Harry Potter. I became nerdier, and it ignited my love of reading. I let myself be weird, because even at the ripe age of seven, I was shackled by a lust for ‘coolness’. I wanted to be like the big kids, but this is getting out of hand. Yeah, I let myself be the me that I left at home everyday. Anyway. This year, I really feel like my stories have finally found their own voice. I strive to be like Eoin Colfer, Douglas Adams, JK Rowling, and Madeline L’Engle, with a twist of Tolkien. I’ll never write romance or realistic fiction because I don’t read that kind of stuff. But what you have to do is not read only in your genre- it’s read everything. And if you seriously have to confine yourself to one genre, read lots of different authors. Most of what we write has been done before, so you’ve got to do it differently. Write angsty vampire novels in a whimsical tone. It’ll make your work stand out. If you want to be an author, you have to read. Hard stuff. You can’t write a fantasy epic if you can’t read them. Reading is like the warm-up for writing. You get a gist of what works, so you don’t write utter drivel .

So this post is all over the place. Whatever.

Oh, and theirs that terrible archived novel with pages and pages of description In Which I Tried to Copy A.A Milne.

Advertisements