Top 5 Wednesday: Authors I’d like to Write Like

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY (1).png

Top 5 Wednesday is hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes, and you can check out the Goodreads group to see more topics!

This was a surprisingly difficult post to write! I think it’s because writing about writing can seem rather daunting- I want to write as well as the person I’m talking about! I did not manage to achieve that, but I think I did manage to find some authors who I really admire for certain aspects of their writing and who have inspired me. I love to write fiction myself, and reading great authors has the biggest affect on how I write my own stories.

ravencycle__span

Maggie Stiefvater

There are two reasons I’d love to write like Maggie Stiefvater: atmosphere and character. She has such a way of bringing a setting to life with the colors she uses, the sounds ,the strange sense of fullness she can bring to a still, quiet place. Her settings are like characters in themselves- Henrietta, the Barnes, Thisby, Monmouth Manufacturing, just to name a few. Each are so different but are so vivid and each has such a particular presence. She’s definitely inspired me to give more care to my settings and atmosphere in my own writing. Before I read her writing, I never asked myself “what do I want this story to feel like? Now I do before I start anything.

As for actual characters, I really admire how her characters are so flawed and aggravating in a way that made me only love them more. And they’re quirky in a way that works for me. Maggie Stiefvater’s characters showed me the pleasure that comes with characters that have secrets and personalities beneath the surface, which is half the reason her characters always intrigue me so much. She’s amazing at writing secondary characters, perhaps because they’re a kind of living version of the settings she creates- they’re creatures of them and I love it.

Celestebooks

Celeste Ng

I so envy the fluidity in Celeste Ng’s writing. Nothing ever feels awkward about her words, and I know she probably writes a bunch of drafts like any author, but when I imagine her in the act of writing, I picture the words easily and flawlessly flowing out of her brain and onto paper, because that’s how they sound when I’m reading them. Not to mention her mastery at flipping between different tenses and point of views, which is something I find SO DIFFICULT.

I also would love to be able to achieve the balance that Ng does in her storytelling. Both of her books reveal the endings of their stories on the first page, then go back and weave in and out of present time and the past (and even future, a little, because like I said she’s so masterful at moving around in her writing) to show how we get there. That is such a difficult mode of storytelling, and I admire Ng’s ability to pull it off so flawlessly in ways that please me and HURT ME.

33253215John Boyne

John Boyne has the ability of turning the mundane into some of the most entertaining parts of his stories. Two characters will have a conversation that lasts pages and never for a second do I find myself bored. I always find Boyne’s dialogue wildly entertaining, which is something I struggle with in my own writing. If a conversation I’m writing gets too long, I always begin doubting myself- it’s too boring, the reader has been here too long. In The Heart’s Invisible Furies, Boyne is brazen with his humor in a way that I wish I knew how to be. Again, I always tend to

13414716doubt my own humor in my writing. The last story I wrote had pages of “deleted scenes” that I cut because I thought the humor was too much. But Boyne’s writing has showed me that sometimes too much can be great.

John Boyne is also amazing at creating TERRIBLY flawed characters who do awful,unforgivable things, and I love them so much. I think I’ve yet to find that ability- my characters always end up being a little too good to make up for bad things they do, which can kill a bit of the pain tension sometimes.

11235712Marissa Meyer

This is a rather…opposite of the point I made with John Boyne, but something I admire about Marissa Meyer’s writing of the Lunar Chronicles, and Cinder in particular, is how concisely written I felt they were. Perhaps its because I read the series after I’d finished writing a long, rambling story that was far too long than it needed to be, but I really admired how everything she gave us was important, how I never felt like I lingered anywhere too long in her stories. It’s probably because I’m not great at planning out my own stories that they always end up terribly long, and I end up writing so many scenes that feel redundant (like any NORMAL WRITER, probably), but it really makes me appreciate concise writing when I read it. I love long-winded, descriptive writing (obviously), but sometimes it’s refreshing to read something more succinct and fast-paced.

20141122110153

J.K. Rowling

Among many, many things, I SO admire J.K. Rowling for the amount of detail she fits into her books, and the way she uses it ALL (I’m looking at Harry Potter, specifically). When I write, I’m very good at confusing myself with detail, with keeping everything connected and relevant, which can make me fearful of writing long stories.  I could literally have a giant note that says “DON’T FORGET THIS PLOT POINT” hanging in front of my face and yet somehow forget to include it when I’m actually writing. Harry Potter amazes me with its detail- how things from the first book are brought back to life in the last book, how the tiniest things BREAK MY HEART in the end.

*

So those are just SOME  of the authors I’d like to write like. What authors would you like to write like, or admire the writing of??

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday: Authors I’d like to Write Like

  1. Sounds like you battle a lot of self-doubt when you write. But I bet every writer on your list also battles self-doubt when they sit down to write. I think that doubt is something naturally found in writers, in all forms of artists probably.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do, but I always fight through it! There’s no way to get better except to keep going. Maggie Stiefvater has posted samples of her early drafts online and they’re not nearly as good as her final books. It’s very grounding to know that no author is without the struggle.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD LIST I really wanted to include Celeste Ng on mine but I couldn’t find a quote that like…. properly captured what makes her so incredible?? And obviously we both had to include Boyne. I would love to write dialogue even half as witty as his. ALSO you’ve really gotta get into Agatha Christie because her influence on JKR is so apparent in the way she spins her stories and can keep track of like 30 plot points at once.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg I had to abandon the hope of quotes, but I probably would have picked something from Everything I Never Told you to represent Ng because I have a vague recollection of really loving a particular quote from Marilyn’s POV, BUT it would probably have taken me ages to try to track it down. ALL OF HER WRITING IS GOLD. Okay 2018 is going to be the year I read Agatha Christie IT IS TIME.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! It’s been so nice getting to meet other writers, I’ve mostly talked about books on here so it’s nice to talk about our own writing! What kind of stuff do you write?? And I know, I’d love to have an imagination like JKR!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds so fascinating!! And like quite a project! Growing up I wrote a lot of contemporary, real-world stuff, but recently I’ve been trying fantasy, which I’ve found a LOT harder because of world building, but it’s also fun stretching myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Steph! YES I absolutely know what you mean. My last novel was contemporary fiction. Now that I started writing this one (sci fi), I am definitely beginning to appreciate the amount of effort that goes into world building for each of the fantasy/sci fi novels out there. It’s fun to try something new, isn’t it? 🙂

        Like

  3. Pingback: November Wrap Up & Meeting Maggie Stiefvater | Lost: Purple Quill

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s