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Influence/Inspiration (1 Viewer)

Buddy Glass

Senior Member
Curious to see what kind of writers are on this forum, and what kind of taste.

Which writers would you say influence you and inspire you?


Senior Member
Paul Scott, who ought to be worshipped as a god for The Raj Quartet. Margaret Atwood, for straddling the genres like a titan. Arnold Bennett and Carol Shields, for making domestic lives interesting. Nadine Gordimer, for bringing the political novel back to life. Terry Pratchett, Kingsley Amis and PG Wodehouse, a trio of brilliant comedians. And Joseph Heller, the man who made me first want to write novels.

Most other people in this forum just seem to like Stephen bloody King


Senior Member
Brian Keene, is one of the biggest influences in my writing. (He's a genious) As well as: Gary A. Braunbeck, who can twist a horror story with just the right amount of fantasy to pull a reader in, R.A. Salvatore, who first pulled me into the world of fantasy and who can write a story far better than most authors I have ever read, H.P. Lovecraft, because he's The Master of Maccrebe (Sp), and finally, probably J.K. Rowling. (Harry Potter is one of the first book series I actually read all the way through as a kid.)

These as of now, are my main inspiration for writing. Although I have always written something.


WF Veterans
I've mentioned these before but I'll repeat them for this thread. Ian Mcewan - absolute genius. Graham Swift - another genius. Robert Harris for his book "Pompeii", Philip Pullman - the finest fantasy genre writer I've ever read. JK Rowling for telling such a good yarn. Mark Billingham for his crime novels. And, of course, Harper Lee - "To kill a mocking bird".

Mike C

WF Veterans
Philip Pullman - the finest fantasy genre writer I've ever read.

I'd suggest you take a look at China Miéville's work - it's stunning. Also, my top fantasy novel ever would be Aldiss's The Malacia Tapestry, which shows just how much you can subvert the 'high' fantasy genre while still keeping broadly within the goalposts. Also Gene Wolfe's New Sun series. Absolutely original, and beautifully written. Of all the Fantasy writers (although technically this is SF) he probably creates the richest world and navigates you through it effortlessly.


Senior Member
  • John Steinbeck;
  • Richard Yates
  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Michel Faber
  • Umberto Eco
  • Patrick McGrath
  • John Fante
  • John Updike
  • J.G. Ballard
  • Roddy Doyle


Senior Member
Neil Gaiman
Ann Fairbairn
James Hilton
Umberto Eco
Betty Smith
Robert K. Massie
Eric Lustbader
Ayn Rand
Ken Follett
Tom Clancy
Mary Stewart
Anne McCaffrey
Jack London

And the list could go on and on. . . .

Buddy Glass

Senior Member
Richard Yates, F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.D. Salinger, Flannery O'Connor, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Charles Jackson, Albert Camus, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Nis Petersen, T.S. Eliot


Senior Member
Ursula Le Guin and Roger Zelazny. Those two are my favorite authors; and I love the way how they can turn the mundane into something interesting, or manage to put a new angle on things.

A lot of the Earthsea novels (Le Guin) incorporate acts of daily life into the story; things like fishing, priestly rituals, farming, heck, even goat-herding - things which make the stories come alive and fill the world with detail. I'm poor at that when it comes to my writing, so it's a skill I seek to learn.

I've only read one novel and one short story of Zelazny's, but I've never forgotten either of them. Lord of Light was a fine spin on Buddhism and Hinduism, and having manipulated the story elements of both to fit in a futuristic setting... genius. I envy his creativity.


this is my first post...

frank stanford
antonin artaud
don delillo
tc boyle
mina loy

for the person who listed jg ballard - did you ever read 'crash'? i loved that book.

Rabid Euphoria

Senior Member
Stephen King - Been reading him since I was ten. Love everything I've read. To me, a master of characterization and pacing. The worlds and people he creates is so intricate it feels real. His ability to transfer you from reality to something so close to reality is startling and what made me want to write.

Alex Garland - From what I've read his talent is substantial and he has many interesting things to say. An author who's use of words and limited length of prose make him a big influence. 28 Days Later is my favourite horror movie.

Cameron Crowe - While a director/screen-writer his movies are among my favourites. Almost Famous is a fantastic depiction of living in the music in the seventies.

Scott Smith - Only an author of two books, 'A Simple Plan' and 'The Ruins' he's a large favourite of mine. His ability to capture humans at their worst, most twisted and most helpless is incredible. A Simple Plan is great but The Ruins is a step up, capturing the true hopelessness of a situation.

I've not read many classic books yet, though I plan to read many. I've always enjoyed reading popular fiction as opposed to literature (or classic style) mainly for my love of horror. I enjoyed 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy immensely. I figure I'll read more classic when I'm looking to improve my devices.


I don't really write in the same style as my favourite authors, although they've all inspired me to keep trying harder...

In no particular order -

HG Wells - War of the Worlds. This was the book that got me back into reading after doing a literature degree almost put me off for good...

John Wyndham - Devoured his books as a child. (Not literally).

Mervyn Peake - Gormenghast, Titus Groan... reminded me just what prose was capable of.

Terry Pratchett - Hilarious.

Will Self - Also hilarious & bizarre. Encouraged me to start thinking more mischeviously.

John Wagner/Alan Grant etc. - As a child, Judge Dredd & 2000AD comics blew my fragile mind...

Kazuo Ishiguro - esp. Remains of The Day, Pale View of Hills... taught me that sometimes less can be more.

Plus a gazillion others.

Eli Cash

Senior Member
Richard Yates, F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.D. Salinger, Flannery O'Connor, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Charles Jackson, Albert Camus, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Nis Petersen, T.S. Eliot

When I feel like I'm getting too "artsy," (e.g. using a bigger word for the sake of a bigger word or nearing double-digits in the sub-clauses in one sentence) I always try to grab a Hemingway short story and munch it down real quick to remind myself what clear, simple, effective, beautiful prose really looks like.

What is it that Reese Witherspoon says about Johnny Cash's music in Walk the Line?

Slow like a train, sharp like a razor?

I try to remember that.


Senior Member
I don't have many influences, since I'm always trying to embed a completely unique voice into my works, but there are some names I should mention.

Eoin Colfer. I love, love, love Artemis Fowl, my favorite series of all time. It's not so much the concept as the books themselves, the way they're written. They're not bogged down with detail, the characters are anything but shallow, the wording is nice and varied, and--most importantly for me--they have a healthy dose of humor spread throughout. I seriously look up to this guy. And according to my best friend, a good deal of my own style is clearly influenced by him.

Matthew Stover. Where Colfer is my idol for the vast majority of literary aspects, Stover is more skilled in other, deeper areas, particularly his ability to weave emotion and feeling into his stories. I read one where the main character was being tortured through the use of chemicals or something like that, and I could practically feel my own body aching. And his emotional moments... *shivers*

Christopher Paolini. This guy sets a prime example for what I hope to never become. Because of him, I am relentless in making sure I never fall into the same trap he has. Thanks, Chris!


Senior Member
Johnathan Stroud, Aldous Huxley, Chuck Palahniuk, and Stephen King are probably my main influences... I do try to stay original to myself, though. But I love their styles of writing.