Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Who Inpsires You?

I just visited my friend, Dan's blog, and he has posted an erudite rant about bad writing. Dan wouldn't like the word 'erudite' but I don't care; it's my blog. ;o)
The focus of his tirade was Cormac McCarthy. I agree with what Dan says and suggest anyone who happens upon my blog visit his: Jeff's New Motorcycle (link at the left). Anyway, it made me think about books I've read that have inspired my own writing. I try to read what I feel is well-crafted, strong literature in order to learn from those authors and imporve my own writing. I will often open a good book--for example, The Kite Runner--before I set to writing as inspiration. Right now, I'm reading The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman, a very talented writer. As I read her words I find myself thinking, "Wow. I wish I could have come up with those words, or that sentence." I recently finished Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed, another great book. Mr. Lamb doesn't use super-huge, ten cent words to convey his feelings and thoughts. He just gets his point across and tells a great story. If any other writers are reading this I'm interested to know what authors do you read in order to learn from them? Who makes you think, "Wow. I wish I'd written that?" And P.S., Happy Holidays!!


Diane Vogel Ferri said...

I'm inspired by Amy Simonson and Daniel Bell myself.

Amy said...

That's a lonely spot, isn't it, Diane??

Daniel Bell said...

Norman Maclean, because he didn't publish A River Runs Through It until he was 72.

Larry Brown, author of the novel Dirty Work, who said "There's no such thing as a born writer. It's a skill you have to learn, just like learning how to be a bricklayer or a carpenter." Sadly, we have way too many teachers who were never any good themselves, but don't know how to produce good writers, either. If a writer is lucky, they will get a mentor who has written well. Hemingway had Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. I'm lucky enough to have Bill Allen.

Amy said...

You are fortunate to have found Bill. I'd love to find a mentor but also feel blessed to have a great writer's group. I think they (writer's groups) can be helpful, too, if you have the right mix of people.