Monday 4 March 2013

Inspiration from Books

I recently read "Fault in Our Stars" by John Green. I'm not posting this to review the book, though I'll say I loved it.

What I was inspired by is the quality of the writing. It was one of those books which I closed and thought 'Damn, I'll never write as good as that.' I also thought, 'how do I make my writing better.'

In John's case, I loved the voice in his writing, the way he writes and sounds like a person. I believed I was reading a book where the girl was telling me her story. I don't always, even when I have loved reading a book.

Another writer who has inspired me is Lauren Oliver, especially "Before I Fall". It was not so much the voice in this which inspired me but the imagery. She has a real way with metaphor, for me, and similarly, I put the book down and thought, 'how do I make my writing better.'

Which writers or books have done this for you? What have you taken away from reading a book?

I would love to hear as I am sure I am not the only one.


  1. I also recently read TFIOS and loved it. I know what you mean about feeling as if you are reading Hazel's actual words and not a fictional story created by a middle-aged man.

    Have you read Wonder by RJ Palacio? It's about a 10-year-old boy called Auggie who was born with a condition which has left his face 'deformed'. It's a great read - I read the book in just four/five hours and then passed it on to my mum, who loved it, and then a friend, who also loved it. It's such an easy book to read - you'll be at the end, craving more from Auggie's life, before you know it!

  2. Ruta Sepetys does that to me. I read her books and am just blown away with her similes and description. She definitely knows how to develop a visual in a way I doubt I ever will be able to.

    I use her as an example of how to write historical fiction for my grade 7s, and even though I've read her book twice, I still am blown away with some of the language.

  3. Preston and Child inspire me because their books read like movies. I want mine to read the same.

  4. stephen king uses awesome figurative language & analogies. i wish i could come up with a fraction of the phrases & smooth descriptions that flow from his pen!

  5. Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May novels make me wonder what's happening to the characters while I'm not reading. They're so well drawn that I think the story must be carrying on while I'm away doing other things.

  6. Fruits Baskets by Natsuki Takaya. It's a Manga series, but the quality of writing, storytelling plot and especially characterization rivals any well written novel. The story deals with dark matters, and yet still preserves brightness and humour.

    Also, The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman as doesn't feel the need to lay it all out, relying on the quality of writing and the reader to pick out what’s important

  7. I'm not thinking straight today so I can't think of any authors/books in particular, but I know there are many, many that have had me telling myself, "You can do better." Books always inspire me in some way!

  8. Laura-Hyde - I haven't read Wonder, but I will look it up, thank you for the rec!

    Kelly - I will look up Ruta! Thanks for mentioning her.

    Alex - good picks!

    Tara - ah yes agreed, Mr. King is excellent!

    Julia - that really is a sign of a great novel isn't it, where you imagine the people going about their lives!

    Sally - I haven't heard of Fruit Baskets so I will look it up, Manga and dark with humour sounds intriguing!

    Randi - yes agreed, one can take something from many books!


Please comment, I'd love to know what you think! :)