How To Draw Inspiration From Other Writers

By on October 3, 2018
How To Draw Inspiration From Other Writers -Writer's

When it comes to finding inspiration for our writing, there is no better place to look than to our contemporaries. There is no more magnificent tool available to writers than books, and there is more to be learned by reading than any classes, qualifications or courses out there.

Many writers struggle, however, when it comes to drawing inspiration from other writers. They are so worried about being accused of stealing another writers idea, and so concerned with writing a story that is utterly unique that they avoid using the texts that they love and cherish to aid them.

While stealing other writers stories and copying their work is not acceptable, writers should in fact harness all they can from other writers work. There is no harm in being influenced by another writer, by admiring their ideas and molding them to create something new. Doing so isn’t cheating, it’s merely embracing and celebrating other writers work, finding out what works and doesn't, and creating something unique and personal from what you have learned.

So how can you draw inspiration from other writers work?

Look at their themes and ideas, not their words.

Lifting words from another authors book and putting them in your own is not cool. However, being inspired by their themes and ideas is fine. When you read a great book, focus on what you loved about it, note down the things that made it work so well and then follow the same patterns in your own. There is lots you can acquire from another author, and many lessons to learn. Why are their characters so great? How did they manage their pacing throughout the book? What kind of details made you able to picture their world? These are the things to take notice of and to try to replicate when you sit down to write yourself.

Read widely in your genre.

The more widely you read in the genre you are writing in, the less likely you are to just straight copy another writers idea. Devour as many books as you can and allow yourself to absorb all of the stories you read. Doing so will help guide you towards what works and what doesn’t and help you navigate your path, and use what you have learned to help create your own unique work.

Learn from the rule breakers

While other writers can teach you about the rules of a genre, they can also inspire you to be brave, to experiment and be daring with your writing. Read the work of writers who didn’t conform, who really tried to do something entirely different and bring something fresh to the table. Absorb their creative energy, their daring and go forth and do the same!

Look at their success stories.

It’s not just about being inspired by other writers, writing, but also their journeys. Most writers know how difficult it is to get noticed, to get published, to be successful. So looking to those writers that have made it, and the obstacles and rejections they overcame to get there, can be an inspiration to us all.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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