Authors for aspiring writers

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Authors for aspiring writers

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Apr 11, 2007, 12:12 am

What authors would you suggest for aspiring writers? What makes a good author for young writers to read?

I'd suggest an author to emulate would have to be consistent and strong in writing fundamentals, but also inspiring.

I like Shirley Jackson. She always puts me in the mood to write.

A teacher suggested Jonathan Lethem to me. He moves a story with verbs rather than modifiers. My teacher gave me Fortress of Solitude, then I read Motherless Brooklyn and both were great. I'm looking forward to reading his new one, You Don't Love Me Yet.

So, who do you suggest aspiring writers should read? Why?

Edited: Apr 11, 2007, 1:22 am

I used to write poetry until I stopped to try writing stories instead. When I did write poetry though, there came a time when I found it more challenging. During that time, one of the books I read was Terri Windling's The Wood Wife. This book made it so much easier for me! I found an endless amount of poems going through my head during and after my reading of it. Since the first time I read "The Wood Wife," I've reread it once or twice to be affected the same way years later, and with no longer writing poetry. (Not that I couldn't write it, I just want to be a novelist rather than a poet!)

Please stay away from They deceive and scam people. I speak from experience. I was quiet crushed some years back to discover their true identity. They have all sorts of names they use. Watch out and be careful. It's smart to do an internet search to find out who's real and who's not, if you get my meaning. I've lost my sheet of safe/real poetry places, but I'll research it for anyone who asks me. :)

Apr 11, 2007, 11:07 am

If you're interested in writing guide books (rather than just great books to read) I recommend Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. It has great encouragement and great writing advice.

Edited: Apr 12, 2007, 3:27 pm

I would tell you to pick up Kerouac, Vonnegut, and Hunter Thompson. All have a certain self-councious nature to their prose, and it helps you to see how their mind produces their work.

Apr 13, 2007, 9:53 am

I have always felt that reading short stories is the best way to "study" fiction writing because they let you see exactly what's working and not working in a more stripped down format.

I would suggest A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer. Also, both are extremely good reads.

Apr 15, 2007, 2:52 am

Ray Bradbury always makes me want to write. I'd especially recommend "Lime Vanilla Ice." It's pure genius.

May 11, 2007, 7:14 pm

John Irving has some interesting plots... or at least A Prayer for Owen Meany does. I'd think that would be a good one to read, because of the way it all comes together.

May 11, 2007, 10:56 pm

Ira Levin is now one of my new favorites because he has mastered the art of creating believable and interesting dialogue, even when the characters are doing something mundane. And he has a great knack of incorporating creepy into normal Rosemary's Baby or The Stepford Wives and watch how he sneaks up on you and completely catches you by surprise, even if you already know the plot.