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Sources of Inspiration: Flourishes from Favorites

sources of inspiration

Developing my own style is important. I have to find my own voice, to resist the impulse to imitate my favorites, no matter how brilliant I think they are. I need to build up my own brilliance, even if it’s just a feeble, flickering candle flame at present.

There are flourishes I can add to my own work, traits I’ve noticed and enjoyed in my favorite authors and their works. A tendency to turn a pretty phrase or describing a scene with very simple words that still gives it a flowery feel. Using unusual word play in dialogue that isn’t normally heard, but gives the moment a fresh honesty and the characters unique voices. These are qualities I’ve savoured as a reader (and a watcher). Applying such flourishes to my own work, using my own voice is a delight. I just have to make certain I’m using my own voice, that I’m continuing to find my own voice. There’s a danger of losing myself completely in someone else’s prose, something I take great delight in as a reader, but I need to be wary of as a writer. I could easily lose my way in someone else’s. I musn’t lose my way, but I can make similar stops along the path.

How about you, dear reader? Any flourishes you’ve picked up from other writers, adapted in a form that’s your own?

2 thoughts on “Sources of Inspiration: Flourishes from Favorites”

  1. Love the column! Me? I probably have imitated a lot of the pulp writers who wrote urban fantasy, especially Henry Kuttner, Robert Arthur and L. Sprague De Camp (and his various co-authors, including Fletcher Pratt.)

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