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Who are your influences?


I always read about how new artists are building on the work of those that have gone before them and that each artist has a formula that has helped them to achieve their own unique style. If i had to narrow it down, I'd say my core is George Martin/Phillip Pullman/Terry Brooks, with a dash of Jk Rowlings. I have been reading fantasy ever since I could remember, and to me these are the ones that seemed to set the standards of what fantasy should be. When I first started I often tried to imitate Brooks and try to create similar prose and descriptions. I never could and probably never will, but the experience helped me to start to create my own style and voice. Who are some of the authors that make up your formula?


Terry Goodkind, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkien are probably my primary influences. To a lesser degree, Alexandre Dumas, as well.
George Martin, Joe Abercrombie, and Patrick Rothfuss are probably the writers who have influenced me the most. Martin for his insane characterization; Abercrombie for proving that there is, in fact, room for the gloom of reality in Fantasy; And Rothfuss for the way he blends the absurd into his story, and makes the obvious look like a flash of genius, where whenever I try it looks like retardation.


Primary Influences:
Roger Zelazny
Steven Brust
Stephen Donaldson

Secondary Influence:
John Ringo
Laurell K. Hamilton
Poul Anderson
C. Dean Andersson
Harry Turtledove

Others I've learned from:
Sandra Kring
C.S. Lewis
George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien and Trudi Canavan and to a lesser extent Fiona McIntosh and Kristen Britain. I actually tried to start writing before I had really read any thing and it was crap, then I read Toklien and Canavan extensively and started to get where I was messing up. Martin is newer to me but as I get farther into a Clash of Kings it only helps more.


Joe Abercrombie - for violence, gore, reality and characterization
Michael Stackpole - characterization and new twists on old cliches
Naomi Novik - using realistic military structure and history

And Jack Hild who wrote Soldier of Barrabas novels in the 80s and 90s for some pulp action sensibility.

I love GRRM as much as anyone and he probably has rubbed off on me but I don't feel the need to write epic fantasy tomes just yet.

Dante Sawyer

My biggest influences in literature would have to be...
Stephen King: Characters and mixing of different genres of writing.
Brandon Sanderson: Most original, yet plausible, plot ideas ever.
Dean Koontz: Dark tones in novels, yet with some added humor.
Louis La'Mour: I love my westerns!

Also... Although they aren't famous yet...
Brian Wood and Frank LaVoie.
You two are my idols. If either of you two get on this thread... Thank you.


-Dante Sawyer


I love JK Rowling. I know her writing isn't necessarily great (those adverbs!) but her characterization, plot and story-telling are hard to beat. I love beautiful, poetic prose. One of my very favorite books (you can laugh if you want) is The Wind in the Willows. "At last, over the rim of the waiting earth the moon lifted with slow majesty till it swung clear of the horizon and rode off, free of moorings; and once more they began to see surfaces-- meadows widespread, and quiet gardens, and the river itself from bank to bank, all softly disclosed, all washed clean of mystery and terror, all radiant again as by day, but with a difference that was tremendous." *Sigh* That may not be moving the plot forward, but it certainly sets a mood.


Maybe my response isn't so much as 'who', but also 'what'. I suppose I'll reply anyhow?

Edgar Allan Poe, Goodkind, Tolkien, Robert Jordan, Medieval poets(too many to name), Romance novelists, Ann Rice, Various Mythological genres,
Dean Koontz, Mercedes Lackey, Words in general? A new word is sometimes inspiring! Ayn Rand, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury...

Roleplaying, Being a natural introvert prone to flights of fancy. Being a country lass in the wilderness all of my childhood! ;)


Richard Matheson is probably at the top of mine for his approach to horror, but then also Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, and Jim Butcher to a certain extent. Lastly, and I don't know if this should really count as I've only read one book by him, but Robert Charles Wilson


Style wise, I think I've been inspired most by the writing of Ray Bradbury and Anton Chekov. I strive to write with the sincere sentimentality, and yet real simplicity, that make their work so charming and engaging.

When it comes to the genre itself, I'm mostly influenced by ancient myths like Gilgamesh and the Iliad. I find it extremely fascinating how these stories are able to depict fundamental human truths with the most basic of symbols and plots.

The epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms has also been an enormous influence as well. It has really opened my eyes as to what heroic fantasy could really be. And I know I always bring up comic books, but I like the soap opera-ish, misfit drama of Chris Claremont's X-Men. I can talk about his stuff for hours.

But it was Christopher Paolini's work that actually inspired me to start writing. I figured if he could do it, I could do it too!

So far, he's still sold more books...


I think the greatest influence when I started writing was Terry Brooks. He inspired me to write. I'm afraid that even though I wasn't aware of it entirely, my sentence structure mimicked his. I had long sentences and used commas the same way. But I have been writing long enough to break away from the initial influence. But overall, I think Tolkien is still a great influence on my writing.


It's been China Mieville for a while, but since I finished up my last project, I am definitely looking towards others. I was very moved by a short story I read recently, The Courtship of the Queen by Bruce McAllister. Both of my most recent projects have involved re-imaginings of certain time periods and places in our worlds, so Guy Gavriel Kay has become a bit more of an influence. The fairy tale authors, of course - Charles Perrault in particular, but Andersen and Grimm are both pretty big, too.
Andre Norton, who opened my mind to so many new worlds. Orson Scott Card has shown me how valuable characters are. A few hundred other authors that kept my imagination flourishing with things I might never have imagined on my own.
J.R.R. Tolkien
Stephen King
Anne Rice
C.S. Lewis
And some more obscure writers from decades past, as well as some of the more classical - Dante anyone?

Philip Overby

Article Team
George R.R. Martin-awesome stories, but I'm starting to lose faith a bit
Joe Abercrombie-another one I love, but I hope his next book is super awesome
China Mieville-because he writes weird books about weird places
Robert E. Howard-because Conan rules
Philip K. Dick-because he has cool concepts
Terry Pratchett-because I wish more fantasy was funny and didn't take itself so seriously
Jack Vance-because his worlds and characters are uniquely strange
Jack Ketchum-because he writes awesome horror stories that make me cringe


Influences are sub-concious

Maybe one of my problems is that I have no concious influences, but if I was asked to guess I'd say Rosemary sutcliff - Dawn Wind. More recently Robert Holdstock, which means some of my work is very complecated. I'm going to put some work up and see if anybody who reads the same stuff as me sees any threads of influence.I'm afraid I do not know enough about literature to be able to conciously identify other writers style and maybe thats why my technical (journalistic) work is sucessful and my fiction isnt.