Don't authors just read their favourite authors to become a better writer?

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Good grief no!

It's actually one of the single worst things you can do as an author.

Developing your own voice, your own style and function is vital as an author. So much so that relying on another authors process to replace that voice is only going to cause you to duplicate, rather than emulate.

One of my favorite authors is Sir Terry Pratchett. A man who's visionary writing style is both tongue in cheek, yet linguistically beyond reproach, and somehow in spite of swinging his lexicon like an engorged member in front of the litteraly world with little more than a wink and a cheeky smile, managed to retain a unique simplicity in his formatting (no chapters, lots of funny cheeky world building notes, and nods to the reader) that makes his novels wonderfully funny, and yet somehow tieing in some of the most incredibly subtle themes in a comedic fashion, that leads the reader to grasp the greater world, both within his works, and within the real world as an observer, without defining the line between the two.

I will never be able to duplicate this. I simply lack the experiance and talent that this wonderful human being had.

His voice is is unique.

With that said, this does not mean that I too won't write my characters in similar ways, build my world with the same care and attention, and seek out comedic traits and tropes to set the world of my own novels with a certain level of irreverent often dark humour, while I poke at the underbelly of human thought, and ideas.

What I wont write is a Terry Pratchett novel…

… because I'm not him…

Nor am I Neil Gaiman, nor Tolkien, or Rowling, Barrie, Pullman, or Kilworth, nor do I have the grace of pen of Bulmer, or the ability to communicate with children like Dahl …

… But what i do have, is a perspective inspired by these wonderfully tallented authors, and a pretty noteable addiction to fiction…

And while I feel inspired by each of these wonderfully gifted authors, I have no desire to ‘be the next ____’ because it will take away from what I have created.

While I would love to share shelf space with any of them, I would hope that anyone reading my works would be able to garner some of my Influances. One of my longest standing fears as a writer is for somebody reading my novels and have it ‘feel’ like another authors work.

My wonderfully patient editor once pointed out that I was leaning too hard on what I expected my inspiring points of emulation to have written under my premice, and were becoming a tad too blatant in how it clearly wasnt me. He claimed that he almost felt like he was reading something that could have been taken from one of them, I immediately found myself altering the flow and word choices of the chapter.

Because I wasn't writing thier book, I was writing mine.

Now, regardless of the urge, I will not read another authors books while I am writing. It can and does inherently alter my voice, broken and battered though it may be, I wish to polish that turd, rather than present anything ‘technically better’ in somebody else's words or style.

Will I ever be mentioned with the same breath as any of those I opted to read? I doubt that highly, but it will be MY work, MY story, and most likley have significantly more swearing.

Thank you for reading, and I hope this helps.

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