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What books/series most inspired your own writing and how?


Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber series

Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series

Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever

The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson

Elric and Hawkmoon books by Michael Moorcock

Book of Swords series by Fred Saberhagen

Many of the books (Scandinavian type Fantasy) by Elizabeth Boyer

Miles Lacey

My biggest influences were the Elder Scrolls series (Oblivion and Skyrim) because of the epic open-world worldbuilding, The Legend of Korra because it showed me a fantasy that was not set in a pre-Industrial world and the random selection of fantasy novels (now in storage) that a friend got for me that showed me the best and worst that fantasy could offer. The Talisman by Stephen King and an author whose name I forget totally blew my mind as a teenager. I also cite How To Train Your Dragon as an influence because I loved the simplicity of the writing style and the illustrations.



I would have to say all of them and none of them at the same time.

I am writing stuff in part because I dont see anyone else who is....but, at the same time, if a reader was to go...'Hey, your book is just like LOTR cause it has a big baddie they want to get rid of,' I would say, ''Yes, it is, and how right you are. I think that story may have had some influence.' And if they said, 'Hey, your book is just like Elric cause it has a magic sword the MC cannot do without', I would say 'Yes it is, and how right you are. I think that story may have had some influence.' And if they were to say, 'Hey, your story is just like Star Wars, cause it has an order of knights who try to keep the peace, and they are ignoring the dark side,' I would say, 'Yes, it is, and how right you are. I think that story may have had some influence.' And this you can lather rinse and repeat for just about everything--Game of Thrones, Howards Kull and Conan, and probably any book I've read, or story I've seen, such as Samurai Jack, and Cowboy Bepop, or games I have played from Atari Adventure to Dead Space (which was the last one I played). (Dont think I dont want a dragon named Rhindel in my story somewhere...)

I will say, when I compare my story to others, I can see a lot of those elements in them, but I can also say, I dont see anyone who has told a story like this. I hope that remains true till its published.
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I'm probably more influenced by a sense of aesthetics/vibes than any one author. I like pulpy SFF. Conan the Barbarian, Flash Gordon (I suppose he's technically SF, but he comes across as fantastical and Ming the Merciless is sheer fantasy villain I don't care if he has a ray gun!), etc. I like humorous fantasy, so Discworld, Gaiman, etc. I like to blend genre, A LOT, which I don't see too many folks doing, or liking to be honest. I like things that are fun. Don't get me wrong I enjoy a bit of grimdark, ultra serious fantasy every once in a while-- but it doesn't influence me, except to run in the opposite direction with my own writing.


While it didn't get me started into fantasy "A Song of Ice and Fire" is what has ignited my belief that fantasy can be what I want from a story. It really was a big game changer for me.


Looking through some art work for the caption this has made me think I should add art has inspired me to. And heck, I think now I should expand to all of it. Cause music, comic books, and a lot of life has inspired me.

Seeing some of the old Frazetta art work reminds me of this.

I think though, personally, I was most influenced but Robert E Howard. Initially I wanted to write short stories that would go together like a serial--of sorts. And I wanted to capture in part his epic language. Later I just found my own voice, and its not at all like his, but I like it. If I was to pick a top three, I think Howard, Star Wars and Samurai Jack where my strongest influences. But they are faint now. Now I just write cause I want to, I like my characters, and I want my various muses to like them. What motivates me most is just wanting to feel it finished.

GRRM was the first book I read that I felt just captured it all. His writing made me want to include details like the taste of iron one gets when holding a dagger in their mouth to climb a winter tree, or the sweat stain of a hand print on leather of a sword well worn. But, I am not Game of Thrones. He was expert at that.


Strangely it was video games first. Final Fantasy Tactics was a huge influence even to this day for me, I still play it every few years to this day. Plenty of others to aqdd to the list I could go on all day about. Books LOTR was one of the first I actually read back in middle school that I loved. But to actually write my own, I wanted to do video games when I was in High School. Then thought about doing a screenplay before deciding writing would give me the most freedom to make what I would like. I will say, literally everything influences my writing, I get ideas and inspiration from everything. Real life events, to my own life, to things I watch or read that have nothing to do with fantasy.


When it comes to my love for fantasy, video games were definitely one of the early influences as many of you have mentioned and, among them, Oblivion stands out. However the Belgariad series will always have a special place in my heart, so much so that I will never reread it for fear of ruining what was once so special, as I have with many other.

For my current writing, Lies of Locke Lamora is probably the most influential as I'm currently in the process of covering the pages of my old and battered paperback in scribbles, analyzing every sentence, scene and chapter to understand what made it one of the most memorable books I've read in my adult life. There have been so many "aha" moments when it comes to writing techniques during that analysis that it is completely revamping my writing style.
Much depends on the definition of "influence". I suspect in some way that everything I've read has influenced me, from Tolkien to Piers Anthony, to Dickins, to GRRM, to Hobb, to Austen, to Faulkner, to Conrad, to Twain, to McCaffery... you get the gist. And then, I would say I was influenced by a good many bad books, heh heh. Reading unpublished rough material from writers nobody would know the name of also influenced me because there's no better way to learn what not to do.

That said, Tolkien is the original inspiration for me, from the moment the Ralph Bakshi movie entered my brain and forced me to force my parents to buy the books, heh heh. There were a lot of nonfantasy years in between, and then I stumbled onto game of Thrones as a B&N when I just happened to be in the mood for trying fantasy again. That reignited my interest in READING fantasy, I always wanted to write fantasy and developed a world in my head despite not really writing.

And now, just for the fun of it...

If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
― Stephen King

Wrong, Mr. King! I have no time to read and very little inclination, although I sort of try to now and again, but I do have the time and tools to write. Techincal note, I have finished reading two books in the last 5 years, both by authors on this website so I had extra motivation. Everything I want to do in life is creative, active. Reading is passive. I can read other people's work for creative input, because that is more active. Otherwise, most of the reading I do is editing my work.

Sorry, but I do enjoy picking on Mr. King, the anti-ly-adverb writer who uses too many of the buggers, heh heh.
And now, just for the fun of it...

If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
― Stephen King

Wrong, Mr. King!
I think it's actually good advice for many people, just worded wrong. Like anything in writing, it always depends on the person, and you'll always find exceptions. But reading a lot is a good way to help improve your prose, your vocabulary, and your story structure knowledge. It tells you what the current trends in your genre are, and what the tropes and cliches are.

I don't like the definitive tone of the advice (I have the same issue with some of his other advice in On Writing). I've got a full-time job, 2 kids and a wife. I don't have a lot of time left over in my day. Especially if you factor in an hour of writing. But in general I think reading helps, and I've done a lot of it before I had kids and wrote a lot. Which has definitely helped my understanding of fiction, and fantasy in particular.


Myth Weaver
A Gor book by John Norman. I don't remember which one [the cover looking exciting]. A friend leant it to me. I was about 10 pages in when I realised that, even I should be able to write less sexist and misogynistic stories.


Sorry to Mr. King, but I am also not a reader, and I think that is okay. If I had more hours in the day, I would rather spend them creating.

Ill just add that to the list of many things I am sure Mr. King and I wont agree on.