Other writers influencing your work

Deadlines, extra work. I am so tired I feel sick. Haven’t touched Barrain, or any other writing (outside of work), for days now.

It’s my own fault. On the one free day I had, when I could have been writing, what did I do? I picked up Lynn Flewelling‘s Luck in the Shadows, and then, of course, I had to read the second book, Stalking Darkness.

These two books stand alone, but there is a third with the same characters. The question now is do I find the third book, or do I wait until we have finished writing this draft of Barrain?

I try to not read books while we are writing the first major drafts. I find that no matter how hard we try, the book influences me.

For example, I remember re-reading Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy while writing an earlier version of Shared Memories.

Weeks later, going back to do the edits, we find that Roland grins wolfishly and does other wolfish things. If you’ve read the Farseer trilogy you’ll know where the wolfishness comes in.

The thing is, Roland is about as unlike a wolf as you can get. He’s not a grinner either.

There were two chapters of totally out of character behaviour. It took a while to clean it out.

It’s great when a book has so much impact on you, that you can’t help but carry it over into your story. However, it’s not a desirable thing to do.

After that we decided not to read and write at the same time. Not for any of the major drafts, anyway.

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