Friday, March 23, 2012

What have you been reading lately?

I've been trying to read and write during my free time. Though I've found I'm spending more time reading than writing. And that's ok, but today I started on my writing again after a few days off and realized I'm influenced by what I just read.

Let's see if I can explain this better. On my first story, I had been reading the Twilight series most recently before I began writing my book. After finishing it and sending it to some readers, many of them said, "you know, even though this isn't a story about Vampires or anything, it reminded me a lot of Twilight."

Then in my next story, I tried to be more careful about what I was reading and how I was writing so it didn't sound like I was trying to write in the same style as the author I was reading. I've heard many authors say they have discovered the same thing in their experience.

Lately I've been re-reading a couple of the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan to get ready to read the final book being finished by Brandon Sanderson. Now my story is nothing like the WOT, (It's more of a dystopian at the moment) but I find myself thinking of the way the story is done in his world. I have to conciously stop myself from using some of Jordan's terminology.

It's a fine line to walk. You want to read other books, see how authors did it right, but you also have to make sure you keep your own voice. I guess it helps to take a break from writing for a little to do some reading. You just have to make sure when you get back into your writing you can keep the little voices in your head separate.

So what have you been reading lately?

1 comment:

  1. That makes me chuckle-- I think Robert Jordan was an AMAZING author and I wouldn't mind if his writing influences mine, but I agree-- you don't necessarily want that flavor to be obvious to readers. You want to have your own voice, develop a style or feeling that is unique! :) Good luck with that. And happy reading. I'm doing the same re-read this year and I just started book 5. Loving them again!!

    On the other hand, if another author influences you strongly (for example, I wonder how many authors Tolkein influenced??) that might be to the best, especially if they were successful authors. It might help you find your style to do some writing exercises specifically trying to mimic another author's style. Like, rewrite a page in three different voices or something... hmm...