How These Books Have Shaped My Writing

Books writingOn Thursday, I wrote a post on how writers are pretty much always readers, and why reading is so important in the writing process. During that post, I gave three reasons as to how books influence a writer’s storytelling. I promised that today I would give examples of books that have changed my writing, and how they’ve done so.

This will not be a complete list, because I don’t think I could ever record all of the authors and books that have inspired and taught me. However, I’ll pick some that stand out a lot.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan – This is quite possibly my favorite book series of all time (you’ll hear me reference back to it a LOT). Before these books, I greatly disliked reading or writing first-person. However, Rick Riordan’s first person POV from his protagonist Percy Jackson taught me to like first person, and now I write in it a lot. Also, I love his laid-back style of narrating and his humor. Both of those things have worked their way into my writing.

The Seven Wonders by Peter Lerangis – Much like Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis’ informal style of writing and laugh-out-loud humor has influenced my writing a lot.

Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles) by Jaye L. Knight – I’m extremely impressed by the different races of creatures Jaye creates in her high fantasy world. I’m definitely taking notes.

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis – CS Lewis’ books aren’t called classics for nothing. His writing is beautiful and his story-telling powerful. One thing I take away from his books is the human-ness of his characters. They make mistakes just like we do. It makes them more relatable, and everyone loves relatable characters.

The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – There is literally no way that these books could not have made it into this list. Tolkien’s books are pretty much the epitome of what high fantasy should be. His intricate plots, his amazing fictitious world, his lovable characters, and the way he is somehow able to spend five pages describing the color of a tree without boring the reader are all factors that inspire me.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling – I daresay, Rowling’s plots are as intricate as Tolkien’s. The woman thinks of everything. She is definitely an example of how to shape the rules of magic in a book. Also, her characters are colorful and diversified.

The Finisher by David Baldacci – I did say in my last post that not all books will influence you to follow their example. Some will show you what NOT to do. I wish I had something good to say about “The Finisher”. I really don’t, though (sorry, Baldacci). While the plot was good, it was not expanded to its full potential, and the characters were flat and lifeless. Additionally, homemade jargon that he created was not explained, and left the reader (me) disoriented, frustrated, and confused. So basically, I’ve been inspired to avoid all of that! (It can be noted, however, that I did like the speech impediment of the one character in the book, and that was a good quirk that I would readily insert into my writing).

Now that you’ve seen how reading can help you write better, I want you to go read!

(Gif taken from Tumblr)

It’ll help you out a lot!

How about you? What are some books (and authors) that have inspired you as you write? How have they done that? 


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