Know Thyself Challenge Day 12; What Is The Book/Story/Poem That Had An Effect On Your Work?

Are You A Better Writer For Having Read This Work?

I really like this question – it will be interesting to see what everyone has to say.

I, for one, can’t think of just one piece. There have been many – many – inspirational works that have had an effect on my writing. When I was a teenager going through a serious poetry phase, I was very much into Shakespeare. At that young age, I did find it hard to understand what the plays meant but honestly, it wasn’t about the plays per se – I wasn’t analysing their hidden meanings. I fell in love with the way he put his sonnets together.

And to answer the second question (before I turn it over to YOU); I’m a better writer every time I finish a book. For two reasons:

    1. If I liked it, I want to emulate and inspire others the way this particular piece of work inspired me and
    2. If I really didn’t like it, and can offer ways to improve it (from a reader point of view), I can apply these little critiques to my work

Ok. You’re turn. Tell me what piece of work has had that profound effect on you? Do you feel you’re better for having read it?


About Virginia

Writer, reader, crossword puzzler and conspiracy theorist.

5 Responses to “Know Thyself Challenge Day 12; What Is The Book/Story/Poem That Had An Effect On Your Work?”

  1. Easy enough, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. Very strong characters, great story and free license with History. I drew a lot of inspiration from that book to help shape my WIP. To be clear, I only took inspiration from it. I did not transplate Ms. Priest’s ideas, themes, settings etc. in my own work. It showed me that you do not have to rigidly stick to a timeline and historical fact if you are writing fiction for fun.


    • Cool 🙂 I often wonder about free license. At which point does it go too far?


      • When the story stops resembling something based in reality. If I were to change too much of Harrisburg in the 1870s, I think the illusion would suffer. It goes back to the old saying: For a lie to be believable, it should have some basis in the truth. Let me contradict myself in almost the same breath. It depends on the type of story too. If your intent is to reproduce something very similar, but slightly different historically speaking, then you need to establish a line in the sand that you will not cross. If you are shooting for straight forward alternate universe/fantasy (Girl Genius comes to mind) Where basically the style of clothing/buildings and names of places are all that matter, then you can just kick that line in the sand away and plunge ahead.


  2. Hmmmmm, like you, I can’t think of one actual book 😦 I wish I could!!!!

    I think every book I read has some kind of influence on me, most of which I’m not even aware of lol.

    Thanks for this hon, I’ll be mulling it over for a while 🙂



    • Yeah, this question really got me thinking too. I keep looking at all my books scattered around the house trying to remember how I felt when I read them. Nothing stands out, each had its own influence 🙂


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