Monday, June 22, 2015

Ring Around the Rose: Other Authors

This week's question in Ring Around the Rose is a very important one.

What famous author(s) do you feel your writing is most similar to, and why? AND/OR What author do you wish you wrote the most like?

Wow, talk about getting down to the roots of who you are as a writer.

Well, in truth, my primary writing experience has been in the form of blogging, which I have been doing for almost six years now. I have written numerous stories, half of a novel, and have many story ideas floating around in my head. And honestly, I don't really know that I can select just one author that I would feel my writing is most similar to.

Why's that? Well, writing comes from a person's heart, soul, and mind, and we as humans are ever changing and maturing. We write from what we know, which changes as we get older. We write what we admire, which occasionally fluctuates or pendulums depending on the situation. And we write what we desire to be, and to pass on to others.

One way I could see answering this question would be to think of my absolute favorite books and then match my writing style with the ones I admire the most. But my favorite books are spread across genres, eras, and even worlds. I think I will allow Mr. C. S. Lewis to solve my conundrum for me.

“Books you really love are bound by a secret threat. You know the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words.” (C. S. Lewis)
Ah, there it is.

I am drawn to books that amuse me, cause my imagination to grow, inspire my creativity, send chills down my spine with heroic ideas, or, show me something new about the world/people/God in plain, simple English.

I am drawn to vivid characters that remind me of myself or of someone I hold dear. I am drawn to plots that pull my soul into another realm for the time being, and even when I am not reading the book, my mind is there still.

I am drawn to books written by authors who understand the incredible power of words, and know what words to use to make their message reach its full potential.

I am drawn to books that somehow pull a bit of meaning, a mystery, a ray of light from the very ordinary woodwork of life, and enable me to see the not so ordinary, but rather, the extraordinary things of this life.

I have tucked away these little nuggets of gold from a number of authors that I have read throughout the years. My hope is that my writing reflects some of the best.

C.S. Lewis, L. M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, G. A. Henty, J. R. R. Tolkien, Sir Rider Haggard, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, (yes, Franklin W. Dixon), Frank Peretti, Gertrude Chandler Warner, Dee Henderson, Francine Rivers, Elizabeth George Speare, Patricia St. John. There are oh, so many more I would love to give an honorable mention, but I feel I have at least recognized some of the best.

These writers have done so much to shape me, both as a writer and as a person. And while all of their books cover a myriad of topics, characters, and worlds, they "...are bound by a secret thread..."

If I hoped that my writing style turned out like any of my writing heroes, I would have to say it would be Francine Rivers. Her books carry a measure of real depth, understanding, and a common theme of redemption that is unlike anything other books other than the Bible. When I read her books, my heart is torn into tiny pieces of anger, joy, agony, and tiny seeds of hope. And by the end, I feel that I have been both broken and renewed. I believe God has given her an anointing when it comes to writing, and I would love it if my writing is able to convey even just a fraction of what hers does.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Each writer must pursue his or her journey as it comes, drawing both from who they are, and who they wish to be. To write is to discover, both oneself and any number of other persons. To write is to explore, your own world and imaginary worlds that fire your imagination. To write, is to feel a multitude of emotions, stepping into the soul of any character. To write, is to both break chains and hearts. To write, is to heal, both yourself and others.

All of this is possible because our Creator gave us the gift, yes, the POWER of language. Language, words, are power. And those that wield them with skill? Well, what is it that they say?

The pen is mightier than the sword.