Inspiration and Influence…tion

As a writer… of sorts, I feel kind of weird having no authors that actually inspire me to, or influence what I write. I mean, sure, somewhere in the far recesses of my mind there are probably a couple of authors who inspired me to start writing, but as for now, I can’t think of a single author who influences my writing in any way.

Guess what this post is going to be about guys… assuming you somehow skipped the title.

So, I’m an aspiring author without any authors who actually inspire me to write. At least, not that I know of. But surely everyone must have something that inspires them to do whatever it is that they do, right? Surely even the most independent of people are influenced in even the most minor of ways, right? Right. And as exceptional as I am, I am no exception.

Music. Well, since I can’t imagine how dull my life would be without music it’s no surprise that it has a very big influence on what I write. So much so that it really is kind of an issue. I can hardly listen to music without my brain trying to work out what kind of situation I can write into my story that would suit the track. It becomes a real fight just to keep my story on topic and not just a mess of randomness. Some of you might say I should just let it be whatever it wants to be, but there is a difference between letting a story be what it wants to be and letting a story go completely off the rails. It does also influence the type of characters I write. One such instance is a particular song by Garbage making me change a previously cis-female into a transsexual female… I’ve realised I have a lot of characters somewhere on the LGBT+ spectrum, so this probably isn’t a story for those uncomfortable with that. But yes… music… very important, yet problematic, influence in what I write.

That little unknown industry that originated in Japan known as anime. Yep. I’m an anime nerd. I mean my WIP is filled with so many tropes evident in anime that it would be pretty obvious to anyone who knew enough about it. So, anime. Those Japanese animations most people misinterpret as childish Japanese cartoons. Bet you didn’t expect this to be inspirational and influential to me, huh? Well, other than what has practically become the poster children for anime in the western world, the standard DBZ and Pokemon, I don’t watch much kids anime. You can get intense drama that I’d consider miles better than most soap operas, romance that can be really touching, comedies that I much prefer to many sitcoms, thrillers and mysteries, action and adventure, anime focused solely on music. Anime, to me, is a factory of inspiration and influential material, because there is just so much, I feel, that I can learn and take from it… Putting aside the fact that there are a lot of tropes I would do well to steer clear of.

Games. It goes without saying that I don’t mean games like Flappy Bird or Doodle Jump (although if someone managed to make a decent novel out of those I’d be pretty impressed). I mean games like Metal Gear Solid with rich, engaging stories and some character development. A little closer to home due to the… well… concept of my series, are games like Infamous or Injustice, with actual superpowered people in morally questionable situations, and they also have some pretty good plots.

Now, movies… namely, superhero movies. While there are quite a few good superhero movies out there that I take some pointers from, there are far more God awful ones that inspire me to attempt to do a much better job at writing villains. I realise how arrogant that sounds but that’s just how it is with me. What it usually comes down to is incredibly stupid or incompetent villains or highly convenient plot devices that allow the hero to escape. You could say that’s part of the reason why my main characters, as well as practically all the rest of them, are villains; I get that the point is to show that the good guys always win but I can’t accept that when the way in which they win is just so convoluted. Villains’ motivations or plans are also an issue in many instances. One of the reasons The Joker from The Dark Knight was miles better than Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (in my opinion) is because The Joker was just a madman who wanted to see society break itself down; a refreshing break from the standard “I’m pissed at the hero so to get my revenge I’m going to blow up everything! Mwahahaha!” Alright… I’ll hold back my feelings on the villains in all three of the most recent Batman movies.

I guess taking this into account I could add some books into my inspirations and influences. I’ve read many a book with incompetent villains that just brought down the overall quality of the book for me. You could say, then, that all poor villains in most forms of media inspire me to write villains with some actual competence and multidimensional motivations.

Going along the same lines I guess we could effectively ignore the first couple of paragraphs (gotta love unplanned posts) and I could say that some authors do actually inspire me to write… There are definitely quite a few authors I have in mind who I can’t even begin to fathom on how they became published, let alone bestsellers. I’m positive I’m not the only one who sometimes thinks like this. After all, without being too insulting, with some of the crap that’s out there, one would think that with just a little effort they could write something of equally low quality and become a worldwide bestseller, too. That… wasn’t too insulting, I don’t think. In all seriousness, though, while publishing isn’t even on my radar for the near future, arguably terrible authors still inspire me to write, if for no other reason than simply because if they can become published with their… novels of questionable quality, then I can at the very least write one completely from first draft to final draft. I would mention names, but… no.

That’s that, then. These are my inspirations and influences. Basically, in almost everything I do it all comes back to how I can implement it in my stories. Some may call that obsessive… Right they are.

I’ll probably update you all on the not at exciting and thrilling news of how my writing is coming along, soon. Because who doesn’t want to know, right?

Right.

Until then.

Laurence out.