Writing Prompt: Inspiration and Influence

Finding your own voice when you’re writing can be difficult. I’ve noticed that when I’ve been reading a great deal, I tend to follow the tone of voice and style of whomever I’m reading. For a few weeks I was writing in the style of Jane Austen and realised the narrative was too formal for the story and not at all the way I would usually tell a story. The same thing happened when I read too much science fiction and fantasy. Reading is an excellent way of getting inspiration and widening your vocabulary, but you need to remember to find your own voice.

Write a simple party scene. Include dialogue and be clear on the time and place. Now, re-write in the style of Dickens, then again in the style of Poe and finally, in the style of someone more contemporary, for instance, Philippa Gregory or Julian Barnes.

When you’re finished write in your style again and compare.

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