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Sunday, April 15, 2012

What Influences My Writing


There are many things that have influenced my writing, and not just my favorite authors. Sure, I may have attempted to write my very first book in the fourth grade, which was a weirdo mash up of  Piers Anthony's Xanth books, space opera with time-travel, and a fairly Narnian cast of half-monsters and annoying siblings. But more influences my writing than just my inner bookish fangirl.

Science-Fiction and Fantasy

This entire chunk o' genre has influenced my writing, no matter if I'm busting out with a serial-killer shortie, or an old Wild West Hang 'Em High story. I even tried to keep the fantasy or sci-fi bits out of a Napoleon-era Naval battle story, but alas, to no avail. It was like Horatio Hornblower meets the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

I think being forced to write Creative Non-Fiction was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do as a writer, because as much as I want to, I'm pretty sure my Creative Non-Fiction classmates would've seen through the lie that I'd been attacked by zombies, or otherwise mentally scarred by sparkly vamps and lusty lycanthropes…actually that last part is true.

Visual Art

I've mentioned this before in my post What Surrealist Art Taught Me About Writing. I'm a very visual person. I like to draw, though not very well, and I like to paint, likewise not very well. One of my favorite class assignments in Art class was to draw squiggly lines, then to make a figure out of it. It could be an alien thing, a dog, whatever vaguely formed thing you wanted—then you had to write a story about it.

It can be difficult to find a good inspiring image because we're so bombarded by images everyday on the internet, Facebook, TV, movies. But I actually like to browse things on Google images. Still, I feel like surrealism has mussed with my writing brain in a kind of this-is-horrific-but-real kind of way.  

Music and Lyrics

No, not the craptastic movie with Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant.

I blame being raised in a household full of musicians as the reason that music has its greatest influence on my writing brain. I'd say that 90% of the projects I've worked on were sparked into life by a particular album, song, lyric or song title.

I've written tons of stuff to Pink Floyd. I can't even imagine how many early stories of mine were written to The Wall, and Dark Side of the Moon, among other great albums and various artists. 

I've written to nearly every genre of music just shy of Mongolian throat singing (and don't think I won't try it).

Authors

Aw, yeah come on, you had to know I'd get here eventually.

There must be a dozen or so authors that have left their indelible mark on my writing. From my early loves like Piers Anthony, and Anne McCaffrey, to Frank Herbert, Anne Rice, C.S Forester, and C.S Friedman, they've all inspired me in one way or another.

Reading Brian Lumley and Harlan Ellison was like a punch to the side of the head, insisting that I could write dark, I could write scary, and I could write OMGTHATSMESSEDUP. Considering that I used to be terrified of E.T. and the X-Files, I've come a long way in terms of horror and dark fiction.   

What influences your creative endeavors?


This post brought to you by this month's Merry Go Round Blog Tour topic. Merry Go Round Blog—beaming straight to your living room. It is a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind, so do not attempt to adjust the horizontal or the vertical. Here in the MGR Zone, you get to meet the strange and unusual—writers. Stay tuned for the next writer in the Zone.   

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