Creative Influences

FMWriters is traveling the web via the Merry Go Round Blog Tour. Site members have grouped together to write monthly on themed topics and turn the blog tour concept on its head: we’re not the ones touring: you are, as you read one writer’s perspective after another. This is my contribution to the Merry Go Round Tour. Enjoy your ride. ~ Dawn

What would it be like to be compared to a great writer? I’m not sure I’d ever believe the words if I heard them, nor have I even thought about this before the topic was raised.  That’s slightly off the mark. I’ve been told by two people that my writing reminds them of Robin Hobb (who I haven’t the privilege of reading yet, though my husband has enjoyed her stories) and Raymond Feist. I’ve read and enjoyed some of Mr. Feist’s work, and can see a connection between the character and world development.

Playing along, because that’s what writers do, I’ll have to go after my early influences. Mercedes Lackey introduced me to the fantasy genre with her Heralds of Valdemar series. Honorable heroes wielding magic riding fantastic horses. Her weaving of the different kinds of magic and how they affect so many people so vastly amazed me. It’s a concept I’ve taken in my own writing, treating magic almost like a character itself. In my current novel, I’ve gone one step further and actually made it a character. It doesn’t get any lines, but it simultaneously amazes and conflicts with anyone who has ever encountered it.

Jennifer Roberson has influenced me with two of her series. Tiger and Del, the Sword Dancer series has shown me how important a weapon is, magic or otherwise, and the weight it holds upon its wielder. Weapon choice matters. What it does to those who either have it or want it, matters. Her Cheysuli serious plays with animal bonds and transformation, two elements that fascinate me to no end. As children, we’ve pretended to be animals, to have animal abilities, and in her series, we get to experience it. As much as that magic can bring us wonderful experiences, it can hurt too, and there are dire consequences to denying it, to hiding it, or taking it too far.

Reflecting back on this post, it’s clear to me that despite my love for science fiction, the fantasy I’ve read has influenced me more. My short stories are varied in genre, but my novels are predominantly fantasy. I did write science fiction first, then started reading fantasy, and since then I’ve been lost to it. I do try reading new things — I’m finally reading Tanya Huff, some of the most delightful military science fiction I’ve encountered — but reading it doesn’t make me want to write it. I’m just enjoying the ride.

Has your taste in reading influenced your writing or art? Or have your creations influenced what you like to read? It’s a delicate balance isn’t it?

Happy Writing and Reading,

~ Dawn

Today’s post was inspired by Forward Motion’s Merry-Go-Round topic ‘Influences”.  If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and read about their ideas, then check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.   The next Merry Go Round writer is Bonnie. She’ll be posting her take on this same topic on the 5th for your reading pleasure. 

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One response to “Creative Influences

  1. Mercedes Lackey had a big influence on me, too, though more from a social standpoint. I felt that I really connected with her characters, and thought like them, and it helped get me through my angstful teenage years. When I read her now, though, I feel that I’ve outgrown her.

    I tend to read more fantasy and write more science fiction. I’ve never really sat down to think about what that means.

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