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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I sometimes get excited about writing from certain books and authors.

Here are a couple (wildly different) that made me want to write.

Anne Proulx, The Shipping News
Maeve Binchey, Evening Class (and others)


What authors/books have inspired you?
 

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Any writing I consider good gets me excited.

For different and various reasons.

My top-level inspiration has always been: Stephen King.

I happen to create my fiction in a way similar to his methods. (More of a pantser than a plotter, for example.)

Other influential writers who inspire me in various ways:

In formats other than prose fiction:
Joss Whedon
Steven Moffat
Brian Michael Bendis

In prose fiction:
John Locke
James Patterson
Max Allan Collins

(This list is not exhaustive, just a few of the top names that pop into my mind.)
 

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Georgette Heyer, Barbara Cartland, Diana Wynne-Jones, C S Lewis, Jane Austen, and Shakespeare (the comedies).

Romance, humour, adventure, mistaken identities & misunderstandings.  ;D
 

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Whenever I need inspiration to elevate my writing, I can always open Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" and read from any page.  I don't necessarily want to copy McCarthy's style (even if it were remotely possible), but it just inspires me to elevate my writing and not be content with where I'm at.
 

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timskorn said:
Whenever I need inspiration to elevate my writing, I can always open Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" and read from any page. I don't necessarily want to copy McCarthy's style (even if it were remotely possible), but it just inspires me to elevate my writing and not be content with where I'm at.
I just started reading Blood Meridian after finishing The Road last week. d*mn, is it good. The guy has a way with description that most writers can't get close to. Brilliant book so far.
 

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Wally Lamb is a huge source of inspiration for me.  He's a slow writer, but his books are so layered and thoughtful and filled with drop-dead gorgeous prose.  He was the first contemporary fiction writer I ever fell in love with.  His construction of characters is second to none.  

Ayana Mathis is another one.  Relatively new to the writing scene but a brilliant wordsmith nevertheless.  She's just smart when it comes to her stories.  Twelve Tribes of Haiti is a book to be read, digested and re-read.

I like Tawni O'Dell and Donald Pollock for their abilities to write great, gritty settings and build their characters into them -- rather then create characters and building a setting around them.  Not an easy feat, but admirable none the less.

Nicholas Sparks for his recipe of HEA.  

I admire writers like Suzanne Collins and Stephenie Meyer for creating "worlds" that readers visit and ache for.  
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lots of inspiration in these posts.

I think I'll get a new dose of Cormac McCarthy--I haven't read Blood Meridian. And I'm going to check out Wally Lamb. There are so many popular authors I've never read, but in the romance genre, who hasn't been inspired by Jane Eyre and later, DuMaurier's Rebecca?
 

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I recently reread "City of Light" by Lauren Belfer.  Fabulous historical fiction.  Her spot-on research, moving of the plot with a mystery element, social commentary, giving the flavor of the early 20th century without mimicking Victorian language, is quite brilliant.  This is the way historical fiction is done!
 

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Content removed due to TOS Change of 2018. I do not agree to the terms.
 

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Top of my list is Stephen King
I don't read horror for its sake and not as much as I did when I was younger, in fact some of his stories I don't like at all, but his style of writing is what keeps me reading.
He lets stories breathe, even minor characters are interesting, and you don't notice that you're reading. You're in the story.

In contrast, one of our most revered authors up here, Margaret Atwood, has me constantly admiring her sentences and cleverness. I don't know how many times I've lost the thread of the story because I thought about her sentence.
 

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John Steinbeck
 

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Stephen King and Robert B. Parker are my bigs. Before I started publishing my biggest output as a writer was in the early 90's when I was blasting through all of King's books for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
kayakruthie said:
I recently reread "City of Light" by Lauren Belfer. Fabulous historical fiction. Her spot-on research, moving of the plot with a mystery element, social commentary, giving the flavor of the early 20th century without mimicking Victorian language, is quite brilliant. This is the way historical fiction is done!
I must add to my list! Also J. R. Ward and others noted here.
 

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Random sample:

Gaius Julius Caesar: terse war reporting, brilliant political deceit
Marcus Tullius Cicero: "I can make you believe anything"
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus: essentially gossip, but very well done
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus: Stoic philosophy
William Shakespeare
Napoléon Bonaparte (as reported by Emmanuel de Las Cases in Le Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène): apologetics at its finest, shrewd psychological technique to engage the reader, brilliant political deceit
Simon Raven, Mary Renault, Maurice Druon, Margueritte Yourcenar, Robert Graves, Robert M. Pirsig, Colleen McCullough

 

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Elmore Leonard for the great dialogue, tight prose and characters that leap right off the page and walk around.

Ray Bradbury for writing sentences that make the senses come alive.

And James Joyce for showing me that you can write a sentence, never mind a book, that you will come back to for the rest of your life.
From his short story The Dead - "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the uni­verse and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the liv­ing and the dead."
 

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Piers Anthony, Linnea Sinclair, Crichton, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker (though the man's personal life is pretty sad).

I don't limit to just one genre, but try to read everything. The novels I most enjoy writing are thrillers, though I have honestly not read that many in the thriller genre. Probably under ten.
 

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Haruki Murakami, possibly one of the greater writers of our time.
 

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Robert McCammon. All his books are good, but when he wrote Boys Life he knocked it out of the park. His imagery is such that the words in the novel come alive in your head and find a home there. I also recommend Swan Song and his Matthew Corbett collection.
 
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