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imitating other writers


corvus

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Do you consciously/unconsicously (subconcsciously?) imitate other writers when you write? I know I do it, usually without meaning to -- but I don't mind when it does happen, because I am never interested enough in poor writing to cause myself to imitate it. When I do do it consciously, it's really a hit-and-miss thing; I've tried it with Robin McKinley, Ernest Hemingway, and Woolf.

 

Anyone has similar experiences?

 

As usual, I don't think this topic has been discussed, but please correct me if I'm mistaken.

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One of my favorite things about Alone/Together by D S, which I think is the best novel written in this genre, is the author's use of long quotations--from Faulkner, Walt Whitman, Jamie O'Neill (At Swim, Two Boys), for example--followed by passages and chapters that are written in those authors' styles.

 

Alone/Together is such a complex story (actually two stories in one novel) that the imitation of great writers is not intrusive. I don't think the imitation makes for great writing, and there is enough really fine writing in Alone/Together that is not imitative, but it makes the novel fun to read--and sometimes more difficult, especially when Absolam! Absolam! is the model used.

 

Do you consciously/unconsicously (subconcsciously?) imitate other writers when you write? I know I do it, usually without meaning to -- but I don't mind when it does happen, because I am never interested enough in poor writing to cause myself to imitate it. When I do do it consciously, it's really a hit-and-miss thing; I've tried it with Robin McKinley, Ernest Hemingway, and Woolf.

 

Anyone has similar experiences?

 

As usual, I don't think this topic has been discussed, but please correct me if I'm mistaken.

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I have my influences, but I tend to use my own voice. Even though I'm still fairly new to writing, I happen to be able to write in my own voice which is certainly good for me. There are some notable influences like JK Rowling. I think that's a common one. I also have some influences from around here. There's also television and movies. I always come up with my own plot lines, and I think that is the most important factor.

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I'm not well read on the classical authors being mentioned. But when I started, Drake (whose site is unfortunately off the air now) was my gold standard. I still don't think I'm at his standard, but it's what I aim for. Grasshopper is my other standard bearer....

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Oh, gods, I don't imitate them, but I'm influenced by them.

First is William Shakespear. I have this poetic quality that he has to his when I'm really into the story and want to be more serious about it. The best example of it is my story 'A Campers Nightmare,' which was a pain to write, but once it was done, it flowed.

The second is a teen writer named Silver Ravenwolf. I love her books.

And the other person who has influenced my own writing was our very own CJames. His stories are what helped me get into writing such stories and becoming a part of the Gay Authors (not the site but rather the people who write such stories) community. The first time I read 'For The Love' I didn't even know GA existed. I found his story quite by accident, via a link a friend sent me when I asked for links to good stories.

From there, it was history in the making, even though I did start out writing het. I've since discovered I SUCK at writing het and now am writing...yaoi, slash, male/male fiction, what ever you wanna call it.

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Sometimes Anne Rice... 'cause that bitch can be soooooooo sexy without ever saying "sexy". I find that when I see the words "penis", "cock", "dick", "wood"...... ya get the drift.... it's such an incredible annoyance and turnoff.

 

Um, Poppy Z. Brite sometimes. If I'm going for the freakout factor, she's the model for it. That woman holds the uncontested title for being able to freak someone out so thoroughly that they can't sleep for a week thinking about it, while remaining utterly calm and collected and making them want to come back for more of the same.

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Well imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

 

Personally, I would have to say I have some 'influences' but no, I don't consciously imitate other authors. I like to think I have a pretty unique, non-traditional voice, but it's certainly a blend of quite a few different things.

 

The rest of this post would find me either engaging in obsequious praise of a few authors which I really like or else ranting about how dry and overrated a few other authors are. Since I don't particularly want to go down either road I'll just end it here by saying, yes am influenced, no I don't consciously mimic.

 

 

Take care all :)

Kevin

Edited by AFriendlyFace
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  • 4 weeks later...

I can definatly say i have imated MANY of my favorite authors to the point that they might have just wrote the book and not me. It didnt feel like it was my own it felt something like they would have wrote back in the day. At first i thought it was awesome like "OMG! Im writing like..!" Then it was WAY WAY WAY too close to plagerism like i even had certian phrases that the authors would say ALL THE TIME in every book like "Ignorance is Bliss"

 

Sometimes when im writing i will think "How would... handle this scene?" I started to read all different kinds of books by different authors. I spent so long just reading Witches Vamps Etc etc so it feels good to read about NORMAL people. Now in this 1 project i started its reflecting that which i think is awesome at the moment i got normal people who arent really normal and its working!(at the rate of 3 paragraphs a day but HEY! its working :) "

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