What Writers Have Influenced You Most and Why?

There are just some writers whose words stick with you. They change the way you look at the world and sometimes they change the way you look at your own writing…

I loved reading growing up and had my share of childhood favourites. Heck, even some of my childhood favourites are now some of my adult favourites.

So here’s a list of some of the most influential writers in my life:

Jane Austen

This lady’s writing is witty, amusing and charming. Most of her work has such a light-hearted feel–even with questionable suitors that break hearts and family inheritances at stake. I’ve always admired Jane Austen’s sense of humour in her novels and how she’s able to fit it so perfectly into her story. This has made me more playful in my writing and she’s taught me that humour is a powerful device. Northanger Abbey is my favourite novel of hers.

Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale was an eye-opener and the first Atwood piece I read. She is blunt and doesn’t dress up language to get her point across. The thing I most admire about Margaret Atwood is her ability to illuminate serious societal issues with an engaging story. She has taught me to look at society, to see if I can weave societal issues that I feel passionate about into my writing.

Stephen King

His books, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and The Shining are great pieces of work. Stephen King is deft at creating well-rounded characters with compelling back story. He also foreshadows well, creating a sense of suspense and anticipation. He taught me that characters are at the heart of a story and that truthful fiction is always more compelling.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

I especially like her work such as The Anne of Green Gables series and the novel, Emily of New Moon. Even as a child, I was so amazed at how eloquently she was able to describe characters and scenery. She really had a gift for descriptive language. Lucy Maud Montgomery taught me the art of description: a powerful tool in any writer’s kit.

I can see the influence of all these writers in my work, and constantly refer back to them for guidance and inspiration.

If you could pick your top 3 or 4 most influential writers, who would you choose? And why?




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