Is thinking last night (I start a lot of these with that phrase or something similar) about how I would categorize my particular writing “style”. I guess because I’m reading Chuck Klosterman’s newest offering, Eating the Dinosaur, and I find my writing to be similar to his (not anywhere near as good, but still similar). It makes sense considering he’s one of my favorite writers that I would invoke a similar style as him.
The same goes for Nick Hornby. High Fidelity remains one of my favorite novels ever since I read it freshman (or sophomore) year of high school. I’ve reread it several time and I always find the experience enjoyable. It’s odd how much the character of Rob and the real life me are similar. An ex-girl friend actually told me how she found it kind of frightening. The thing is, I never tried to model myself over the forlorn character. When I first read the book years ago, I took solace in reading about a character who seemed inheriently like me. The way Hornby was able to tell of Rob’s failures in love and life seemed to click with something in my subconscious. It wasn’t just the story, but it was the way it was told. The way words were used and how things were stated. So of course I looked at that book, and the writing style and thought that I could take some of the nuances and build upon it in my own writing.
But all this inspiration makes me feel like nothing is really mine. I’m currently working on a story that I started months ago after reading Bret Easton Ellis’s controversial novel American Psycho. My story isn’t nearly as risque: There’s no murder or graphic explanations of sexual acts, but my writing is full of similarities to Ellis’s style. There’s nothing wrong with this and it makes sense that something you are absorbing would make it’s way into your life somehow (in my case my writing. I’ve never raped or murdered anyone and I’ve never eaten dinner at an establishment where the bill tallied over 200 dollars).
It’s not just me who experiences this. Musical acts will often cite various influences when they release new music. It is often blatant when you listen to the rcord they’ve just crafted. Sure they add their own twist on it, but you can hear the music that inspired it.
The lack of an orgiginal voice in my writing (in my opinion, though I’ve nevr ripped off anyone’s work) has often made me abandon reading a book while I’m trying to pen one of my own. This is not easy seeing that I like to read and that I have a surge in creativity after I read something I enjoy. So it’s counterproductive in a way. I don’t want to write when I read because I feel that I’m not creating my own voice, but rather tweaking someone elses, but I don’t want to write quite as much when I’m not caught up in a good and likewise stimulating read.
For the record, I’m fine if someone wants to rip off my style as long as they credit me.