They say that before we master the writing craft, we select one or two masters and mimic them. It’s part of the process, sort of like an informal apprenticeship. The idea is that we learn about grammar and structure and storytelling under the tutelage of our heroes, and when we finally master our craft (I hear it takes something like 10,000 hours) we let go of our mentors and our own voice will truly emerge.
For me, I love Margaret Atwood’s strong voice, though I’ll never master it. It’s just not me. I also love the way the late David Eddings’ tends to have his prominent characters deadpan their best lines. Cracks me up, and I find myself trying to copy the style almost without thinking.
Does this ring true for you? If so, who influences your writing – and why?