It’s teacher appreciation week and while I’m going to do a little of that over on RobertVarnon.com, I thought it more appropriate here on the Creek to discuss writers we learn from.
So there are some obvious ones for me. There’s John Gardner, who wrote the Art of Fiction. I especially like his discussion of the fictive dream and the voice that comes from that. Certain authors I’ve read have that ability to create this otherworld experience that is reminiscent of a dream.
I read some of Gardner’s work, including The Sunlight Dialogues, Grendel, the translation he worked on of The Epic of Gilgamesh and October Light. The Sunlight Dialogues is brilliant in many ways but it took work to read it, at least for me. I thought October Light was a more approachable novel and in some ways deeper.
But no matter what he wrote, he maintained that voice that bridges reality and dream. For me, that means when I read something, I not only see, feel and hear the actors and the scenes, but in some way, I hear the voice as I read it, like an ancient bard telling a story late at night after a feast as the shadows lengthen and people are on the verge of sleep, but become enthralled by the story.
So this is something I strive for in my writing, creating that voice for people and I think at times I get there in my writing. I hope I’ve been effective in creating that voice as I’ve a lot to say and want to continue to say it.
So what writers have you taken lessons from in your life? Are there some that have informed your writing? Are there some that have helped you improve your life?
Keep writing, keep running.