Re: What are some of your favourite books and how have they influenced your own writing?

#1
So I was curious as to what books other authors on RoyalRoad like to read, and decided to make this thread. What are your favourite books? Are they in the genre you like to write in? Do you consciously try to take aspects you like from them and bring out the same aspects in your own fictions?

I'll share three books (actually three trilogies), that I really like and have inspired my writing.

The first one is Lord of the Rings. Honestly, I didn't like these books when I was younger; I found them too slow. But I re-read them last year and enjoyed them immensely. The way Tolkien writes is beautiful, and his prose really pulled me into Middle-Earth. As I read I truly felt as if I was in the Ent forest with Pippin and Merry, or trekking through the ruined lands of Mordor with Frodo and Sam.  My own fiction isn't much like Lord of the Rings , apart from the very Tolkien-esk dwarves, but if I ever describe something I try to recall some of Tolkien's brilliant passages for inspiration.

The second is the First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. All his characters are so unique, and when he writes you really get a feel for what it's like to be  a barbarian, an army officer who beats his sister, or even a crippled torturer! I haven't forgotten a single one of his characters, and I aim to write the people in my stories to be as unique and fascinating as his.

My last series is Mark Lawrence's Prince of Fools trilogy. I loved the character of Jalan, and especially how his character developed over the three books. At the start he's a playboy who wants nothing to do with danger, but by the end, well, he's lost none of his playboy charm but has certainly grown up. Mark Lawrence is also a genius at writing first-person, and I chose to write from first-person perspective because I enjoyed his books so much.

Enough about me. What books have inspired you? It doesn't even have to be books necessarily; if you prefer anime/manga, comics, movies etc, please share it here. I just want to know your favourites and how they influence your fictions here on RoyalRoad.

Re: What are some of your favourite books and how have they influenced your own writing?

#2
The Black Jewels Trilogy (and the extras on the side) by Anne Bishop is my favorite series.
I'd admit to being so confused when I first started reading because she just tosses you into the story, but after it made sense I loved it.
The main cast of characters are all lovable, but Lucifer Yaslana, the Erian Warlord Prince, is my favorite for being able to bring out the best in all the other characters :3
I do mimic the minimal writing style to some extent.

Re: What are some of your favourite books and how have they influenced your own writing?

#4
Oh, lots. Dostoyevsky's Idiot, Abercrombie's Best Served Cold, Martin's first three of GOT, Bulgakov's Master & Margerita, Lynche's first Lamora, Hobb's Lifeships, Peters' Amelia Peabody's series, Davis' Falco, and Corby's ANcient Athenian Mysteries... I read a lot and I like a lot of books.

I am not big on other media, but Matrix and Yuri on Ice certainly blew me away in the movie & Anime category, and I loved a whole bunch of videogames from Jade Empire to Technomancer. 

Re: What are some of your favourite books and how have they influenced your own writing?

#5
That's an interesting question! I've read and loved a whole lot of books in my time, but if I think about it then these are the three that come to mind relevant to my current work here on RoyalRoad ("Not A Manga"), though none of them are remotely related subject-wise:

  • Sunshine by Robin McKinley. I love this book; McKinley takes a sort of meandering first person narrative with a protagonist it's hard not to love, and then starts throwing (and subverting) vampire tropes at her. A big reason I went with a first person narrator for Not A Manga is because I want to be able to craft this sort of wonderful, believable protagonist (I've abandoned a fair few early drafts because the side characters end up so much more interesting than my main character).

  • The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. I love this for its world-building, and the way it gradually builds up a greater whole through short slice-of-life vignettes. That hasn't come into play in Not A Manga (yet), but it's always a goal for me. Plus this is another one with a load of quirky, believably-flawed characters.

  • A Sister's All You Need by Yomi Hirasaka. This light novel series basically accomplishes everything I would like to do with Not A Manga, only does it far better and with beautiful illustrations of naked girls (you've been warned; I can't read this one when the kids are awake). If I'm half as successful at simultaneously mocking and reveling in manga/anime/light novel tropes as this series, then I'll count it a solid win.

Re: What are some of your favourite books and how have they influenced your own writing?

#6
I think everything I've read has influenced me one way or another. As to my favorites:

LOTR - my story's about dwarves, elves, humans, and orcs, with an occasional halfling thrown in, so...

The Outlander series and the Lord John Grey series by Diana Gabaldon - rereading some of her work after having finished most of my novel, I can see a lot of simliarities. 

Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - I try to emulate his writing style, since he writes beautifully. 

The Codex Alera is what I'm currently listening to on my commutes - I keep  hearing turns of phrase that I recognize from my own writing, so I guess Jim Butcher has influenced me too Wink

Game of Thrones, Wheel of Time, Harry Potter - even some stories here on RR and on Booksie have influenced me. 

Re: What are some of your favourite books and how have they influenced your own writing?

#7
I've read so many books it is hard to say which has had the most impact on me.  I'd have to say DragonLance Chronicles or Deathgate Cycle. I like morally flexible characters because most people are not 100% good, we are all a little bit of everything in different proportions. Also the event or decision at hand could be different. I know plenty of people who are Anti-Something but when it involves something else they are pro-it.

Where some of the greats have helped with worldbuilding and characters, things like The Black Company, Jaraxel from Forgotten Realms, and Malazon I think have added a richness and depth that I try to emulate(but fail, seriously I need more practice)

Re: What are some of your favourite books and how have they influenced your own writing?

#9
Chiisutofupuru Wrote: I'd admit to being so confused when I first started reading because she just tosses you into the story, but after it made sense I loved it.


I love fantasy books that do this, another good example of 'throwing the reader in' is Malazan. I bounced off it a couple times, but eventually I got into them. A little hard to read I think, but they're books I'd recommend.

Re: What are some of your favourite books and how have they influenced your own writing?

#10
Most people writing fantasy should have Tolkien on their influences list but especially if they're writing in high fantasy with serious world building or if their cast is a power/race varied band of some kind going adventuring or on a quest, saving the world etc. Tolkien is the father of high fantasy.

There are authors in the fantasy genre who have try-harded avoiding Tolkien's influence, they all fail because Tolkien is the influence of their influences, the hero of their heroes, so it's pretty much impossible to not have a mark of Tolkien on the work somewhere.




me;
Tolkien stuff
Redwall series
Brandon Sanderson anything