Imitating your favorite authors' short stories


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  1. #1

    Imitating your favorite authors' short stories

    What are your favorite short stories? Have you ever tried imitating something you liked from one? For instance I am trying to imitate star light star bright if I write a small short story. The story summary can be found on wikipedia I think. But I want to copy the desire to find someone, and the other person wanting to be alone. That is if I write a story about schizophrenia. So far the compelling motivation seems to avoid lithium and electroshock convulsive therapy. But I can't find or think of a compelling reason why they would want be stopped and be alone by either killing their opponents in the story or stopping them. These are two competing wants from some pivotal characters from analyzing a story. (star light star bright) Is probably my favorite short story and is science fiction. To be with people is the antagonist's or protagonists want or desire, to be alone and away from people (children) is the opposing want of the character (one can argue children since it is their story since either can be considered either the protagonist or antagonist).

    If you read the story, it hints at why the character or characters want to desperately be alone. So much they kill people to attain their objectives. These are suppositions but I assume someone might have done this.

    This is my guess. I am thinking of a kind of person who does this, and I do have one in mind. (there are very few characters I can think that want to be alone, geniuses, monks, that meditate, and what else I wonder but surely you get the idea of what I am trying to do)

    Maybe a newspaper reporter is the long lost son of a man that stole money from a bank (the reporter is an orphan and and this his family). You get the idea, and when he gets closer people who he considers his pursuers are slowly killed. It would not be known until the ending. This is where they make a choice, or decision to maintain that family relationship.

    Question:
    What short stories have influenced you or you liked a lot to mention, or that you imitated by trying to copy just one aspect of it (like I am trying to do)? The desire of the fictional character I think is compelling of the character so I want to copy that desire I mentioned (star light star bright), but I want to change the character's background and who they are in the story when I write it. So characterization needs to be strong I will say. That's one of the many aspects I enjoyed of the story I mentioned of the story I read (star light star bright). It has a lot of depth. By exploring the unusual motivations of the character who was the one that ended the story it led to an ending I have not forgotten up until this point in time.
    Last edited by Theglasshouse; June 11th, 2019 at 05:23 PM.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  2. #2
    Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson are the two best for spec fic. Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway for litfic.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  3. #3
    Thanks for the recommendations. I will buy Bradbury's collection of short stories first and then consider Richard Matheson. The last short story collection I bought was disappointing to me since the story's characters didn't have much off a personality. The golden for the speculative fiction was for me Alfred Bester's work and Roger Zelazny. I haven't found much else that makes me want to read a good story.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  4. #4
    Global Moderator Squalid Glass's Avatar
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    "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" by J.D Salinger.

    I've always tried to imitate Salinger's tight dialogue and metaphorical and/or loaded descriptions of seemingly mundane imagery.
    "I don't do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision."

    "America I've given you all and now I'm nothing."

  5. #5
    The reason Ray Bradbury is up there for me is his work manages to combine authentic speculative fiction with strong character and humanistic themes that make it “literary”. A favorite for me is “There Will Come Soft Rains” and anything from “Golden Apples Of The Sun”.

    There are also a lot of really good short stories from older eras of writing. Nathaniel Hawthorne was very good at this form, so was Dickens, believe it or not. My favorite single short story of all time is probably “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman Perkins which is generally considered one of the finest shorts ever written. So is “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson.
    Last edited by luckyscars; June 11th, 2019 at 04:24 AM.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  6. #6
    Global Moderator Squalid Glass's Avatar
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    "All Summer in a Day" is another good Bradbury short story.
    "I don't do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision."

    "America I've given you all and now I'm nothing."

  7. #7
    I really tried to copy the style of Giant Under The Snow.
    I never pulled it off, but I did get a lot of practice trying.

  8. #8
    I wouldn't say every writer at some point tries to rip off a Stephen King story, but I would say that probably every writer who has read King's work at some point in their lives is tempted to try.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Squalid Glass View Post
    "All Summer in a Day" is another good Bradbury short story.
    Agree. Fog Horn is also extremely good, especially given it's really just a monster tale.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  10. #10
    James Herbert or Shaun Hutson for me. Their horror is fantastic, but they also do awesome thrillers. Ultimately it's their imagination that gets me (and their ability to not waffle on like Stephen King and his later works). God, to be the shirt on any one of those guys...

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